Between unpaid internships and volunteer work to get enough experience on your resume, how can anyone make a decent living? Honestly, I really couldn’t tell you since this is yet another article on the internet that boasts the benefits of unpaid labor. Don’t look at me like that…I was told to write this. These are the benefits of Pro Bono (A.K.A. free) work.
When you’re working for free there isn’t much that you can lose, and I doubt any organization would jump the gun to fire unpaid volunteers. The great thing about such a set-up is that it gives you the space and freedom to be creative with your work. The fact that, most organizations that request pro bono work have limited resources may seem restrictive, but it will inevitably force you to become more creative when problem-solving.
When you offer your service or labour for a cause that you believe in, one of the primary benefits is making you feel that you are contributing something back to your community or even to society as a whole. This isn’t something that you can necessarily do in a large corporation or company. More often than not, lost in the layers of protocol and hierarchy you might even forget the client you are doing the work for. Also, if you have a personal relationship with the people associated with the cause that you are offering your pro-bono services to, the experience can be full-filling and satisfying.
3. Changes Mental Gears
As I mentioned in the first entry, sometimes pro-bono work will require you to break away from your regular way of thinking or even you’re well established and honed processes. This break from the norm can be immensely beneficial, not only will it help you approach the pro-bono work differently, but once you return to your official duties, it could help you look at things from a different point of view. Maybe even helping you create a better process or technique.
4. It Unique Experience
How often do you get to break away from your well-established industry and do something that is significantly different? This is especially true if you are a mid-career or late-career professional; if you do choose to do something radically different, then it will inevitably come with significant risk. Pro bono work will not only give you that luxury, but it will also be risk free (for the most part).
5. Messiah Complex
So I’ve been promoting the both personal and moral benefits of pro bono work, let’s get to the nitty gritty, though. If you are one of these insufferable blowhards that like to stick out their chest and enumerate all the good and beneficial things that they do on a daily basis…then you my friend are the best candidate for pro bono work. I mean there is only so much you can say at a hoity-toity cocktail party, why not constantly remind people that you are soo much better than them.
Do you know any other benefits of pro bono work? Let us know in the comment section below.