Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Working for Free: Part Eleven - Friends and Family

Friends and family present their own unique challenges when it comes to working free. You may feel obligated to help some people because you’re friends. However, it’s important to remember that financial issues often cause the most serious disagreements between friends. It can be tricky to refuse close friends, but to avoid endangering your relationship, it might be wise to create a document, either official or not, stating exactly what your friend is paying for and exactly what is being provided free of charge. This may appear to be somewhat excessive attention to detail, but it makes sense if you and to avoid uncomfortable difficulties later on. You can also decline a project by claiming to be busy and hope that your friend finds someone else in the meantime.

With family members the situation can be more complicated. Distant family members, who only connect with you because you have something that they need, are almost in the same category as those friends who expect you to work for free. Closer family members represent the one working for free incident that you may not be able to avoid. If your sibling’s a carpenter, for example, you might realistically expect them to work for free, if you at least buy all the materials for your home renovation. Close family members are usually aware of the value of what your do since they’re familiar with your work. They may not even like to ask you to provide something at no charge, but if they do, you need to determine whether it’s worthwhile or if it might cause long-term damage to your relationship. In the end, it’s always your decision.

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