I’m for Free!

An e-book just may have changed my life.

"Recession-Proof Graduate" by Charlie Hoehn

"Recession-Proof Graduate" by Charlie Hoehn

It was the first e-book I ever read, too. The book is called “Recession-proof Graduate: Charlie Hoehn’s Guide to Getting Any Job Within a Year of Finishing College” and I found out about it from Ramit Sethi’s blog I Will Teach You to Be Rich. I read it within a half hour and have thought about it every day since. After I read it, something inside me just clicked.

I really suggest you read the e-book, it literally takes 30 minutes to read. But if you don’t want to read it, the book states that (thanks to the economy!) new college graduates need to abandon the age-old job hunting sources because those jobs are being sniped by the older, more-experienced-but-willing-to-take-a-pay-cut workers. Hoehn’s guide argues that the new grads should instead employ a new tactic: free work.

It sounds crazy. Free work? I just spent 4 years of my life learning how to make money. I need money. Why would I do that?

Hoehn’s reasoning is simple. You’re fresh out of college. You’ve got big ideas and a diploma, but to an employer you’re risky and expensive. Of course it makes sense for an employer to hire an older, more experienced employee who is desperate for a job because of the state of the economy over someone like you.

So why offer yourself up for free? According to Hoehn, there are a multitude of reasons. First and most obvious, free work means you’re no longer a risk to the employer. They’re not wasting any money or time on you, because what do they have to lose? Second, free work means the expectations are lowered. It’s free work and, after all, you get what you pay for, right? In the free work scenario, it’s basically your job to lose. This is an opportunity to show the employer, look, I am passionate about this, so passionate in fact that I am confident enough to show you what you will be missing if you DON’T hire me.

Hoehn goes into a lot more detail in his e-book, including the stipulations, considerations and even a pre-written e-mail that you can use to get the ball rolling with potential employers.

So how did this e-book change my life?

I may not be a recent college grad, but this book helped me to realize that this economy makes it a great time to offer myself up for free in order to realize my passions and dreams. I may not be sure what I want to do with the rest of my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m doomed to live a passionless life. Free work has opened up my world to opportunity.

I found an ad on Craigslist this week and I opened myself up to a chance to refine a passion I’ve had for a long time that I never developed into much more than a hobby. I interviewed with a photographer on Tuesday and we really hit it off. She hired me on the spot. I’m doing my first photoshoot with her on Sunday.

I’m beyond excited for what the future may hold. I don’t know if this is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, but I do know that this brings me one step closer.

And, to think, I owe it all to an e-book!


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