Why I Don’t Work for Free – Real Talk!

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Working for free leaves you broke.This is my six year anniversary of resume writing, and I just completed my first year as doing it as a job and side gig. I make occasional posts on social media of my victories, which prompts family and friends to ask me to help with their resumes. At first, I helped for free with no issue but then…

Life got in the way!

I almost wore myself out! I had to begin to charge a fee for the service, even to my family and friends—sometimes actually having to decline to provide my services due to the amount of people that would request help. True colors came out and I got hate-mail for charging a fee. So I will explain in great detail why there is a cost for service.

1. I can’t give you quality service for free!

Resume writing and career coaching takes time, effort, and a lot of work on my end. Look at all the stuff that goes into providing a quality resume and job search coaching session:

1. I interview clients on what they want in a position, whether it is a new position, a promotion in a current industry, or if the client is using transferable skills to switch industries.

2. I edit resumes & cover letters, check for grammar, spelling, subject/verb agreement errors (and you would be surprised what “Spell-Check” does not pick up. 🙂 ).

3. I teach how to find positions without the use of internet job openings (keep in mind that over 70% of open positions are NOT posted online).

4. I speak with people daily on how important interview attire is; I discuss the importance of confidence, questions that the interviewer will ask and questions to ask the interviewer.

5. I teach follow-up tips: thank you letters, how to contact employers and how to record the job search to document all progress.

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To give people, for free, the complete package so that they don’t come back running every time they need a new job for free is a disservice to myself, as there is so much energy that goes into getting you the results you want. It’s not just about making a resume pretty (although, I do that too, for a nominal fee).

I work a full time job doing all those things listed, plus I do career coaching on the side. It sometimes takes up to 19 hours of my day. So, time = money!

2. I do not want you to have sub-par quality work or to not have the work done at all.

For example: Sally wants me to do resume, However, I have 4 resumes to edit at work, 3 resumes with my side gig (and they are actually paying me), plus personal things to do (yes, in the midst of saving the world, I do have a personal life). Guess what gets put on the backburner? Yep, Sally’s resume.

3. Resume writing and career coaching takes time, effort and a lot of work on YOUR end.

Looking for a job or trying to switch careers is a full-time job! Not only do job seekers have to scour the internet for job postings, but since 70-80% of all open positions are not even posted online, much of the leg-work involves searching for companies in certain industries. I would say that more than 90% of job seekers that I meet do not even do this step due to not knowing that they can apply for unlisted positions or opt out of this step just out of laziness.

Resume writing and editing takes a lot of work!

Since it’s important to have a different resume for each job you apply for, making them takes a lot of time! Someone who strategically applies for positions by changing their resume to meet the needs of the employer has a better shot at a job than someone who aimlessly applies for 60 positions online by using the same resume with no cover letter. You have to put in work and

your time = money too.

4. A job search in itself is an investment!

Look at all the stuff you have to buy to have an effective, successful job search:

– Resume paper

– Interview attire (outfits, shoes)

– Faxing fees

– Postal mail fees (stamps, envelopes)

– Transportation fees (gas, public transportation fees, taxicab fare)

– A portfolio to hold all your documents

– Books and publications that teach how to search for positions successfully.

If you are a job seeker not making an investment to purchase the bare minimum to have a great job search you won’t get the job of your dreams!

5. You won’t put in effort when you don’t put value to it!

Do people read free books? Most of the time, NO. It sits on the shelf, especially if it is a book in which they are not interested.

At one time, I did request to view resumes for free… What would happen? Sometimes I wouldn’t get the resume at all when I asked for them. It would almost be like pulling teeth for the person to send back the resume corrections or to let me know if they made their list of 35-50 companies to research and make attempts to contact them.

It’s so much easier to teach people how to find jobs on their own than to have them come to me every time they want a new job. It’s like the “teach a man to fish” proverb. 🙂

So there you have it!  Quality work = quality time = quality money. If you read this post carefully, you’d know how to save money by reading my tips and great books on how to find jobs (actually reading this post teaches exactly how to revamp a successful job search plan).

Habakkuk 2:2- “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”

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Salary Negotiation Series – Part 3: Playing Russian Roulette

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Read Part 1

Read Part 2

negotThanks to a Negotiation class taken in college and the book, “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job,” I am automatically programmed to attempt to negotiate salary for every position offered to me.  After receiving a job order, I go on auto-pilot and immediately go into salary negotiation-mode. Last year, I received an employment offer from a well-known company with full benefits and a competitive salary. Regardless of the offer, I still attempted to negotiate salary with the recruiter—however, this time, it nearly backfired on me. Check out this telephone conversation about my Russian Roulette game.

Recruiter: Congratulations! You have been hired by our company. We offer full benefits and your salary will be $X per year.

Aceey: Thank you! I am excited about this new position, however, is the current salary negotiable?

Recruiter: Well, I would need to speak with Corporate and your manager to determine that. Let me give you a call back.

————–

Recruiter: Aceey, I spoke with Corporate and they gave me a mouthful. You have three choices:

1. You can choose to keep your current salary offered. This amount is guaranteed if you do not attempt the negotiation process.

2. You may choose to begin a negotiation process and there could be two outcomes:

a.) You may be awarded the salary amount requested.

b.)You will not be awarded the salary amount requested, AND the job offer will be forfeited.

TIMEOUT! At this moment I had already received one other offer from another company and was awaiting an offer from a 3rd company. You need to have 3-5 simultaneous offers from companies so that you can pick which one is best for you (salary, culture, location, etc.,).

Another reason why you want so many job offers at one time is when you run into situations like the one above! Always negotiate salary. If they recant the job offer, NO WORRIES!

I chose to not negotiate this time, not because I was scared, but because I planned on negotiating salary for another position. Plus I knew my other offers would guarantee a higher salary. I gave this company a break (something that I actually do not recommend but I was tired that day, lol)….

Aceey:  Thank you. I am choosing to recant my request for salary negotiation and will accept the salary amount previously provided.

A couple of days later, the third company gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. What happened after I recanted my offer for the particular position above is a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!

This ends the Salary Negotiation Series! Read books on salary negotiation and talk with recruiters and employers in your chosen fields! It will advance not only increase your pay, but may also enhance your career! Be blessed!