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Old 07-20-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: New York metropolitan area
65 posts, read 60,130 times
Reputation: 189

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Hello, all! I'm about to begin a job search and am looking for some good advice. I'll be re-entering the world of software development after having spent a year in a church-run program to test a possible calling to the religious ministry. In years past, my job searches have been pretty straightforward, but this time I think I would do well to consider adopting one or more special strategies. I am prepared to work for less than I was earning a year ago, and I will consider offering prospective employers a month's labor for free before they make a final hiring decision. Is this a good idea? How should I present my year-long departure from the industry on my resume? Would it be appropriate to make an entry in my work history giving the name of the religious organization, the period of time I was there, and an ever-so-brief statement of the program's purpose similar to what I just stated? Finally, what else do I need to consider? Thanks all for your help.

Last edited by BigGuy77; 07-20-2010 at 03:24 PM.. Reason: removed markup
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:27 PM
 
25 posts, read 215,734 times
Reputation: 27
It's interesting you state you are willing to work a month free. I was considering this same exact strategy to tell prospective employers. I'm fortunate enough to keep getting interviews, but for some reason I'm not lucky enough to find a new job. I figured offering to work for a month for free to prove I can do the job better than others might be a good strategy..
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:15 PM
 
14 posts, read 61,182 times
Reputation: 22
DONT offer to work for free. It makes you look weak and desperate. Be confident in your abilities.

I'm not sure about the software development field but it seems like skill sets that would be in demand. Start off doing contract work if you cant get a full time job with benefits.

confidence in your skills will take you farther than desperation.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,362,608 times
Reputation: 26526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homiedontplaythat View Post
DONT offer to work for free. It makes you look weak and desperate. Be confident in your abilities.
I don't think that in the current job market situation it could necessarily hurt but it depends on the way that the proposition is worded. If you really think you would be a good fit for a particular job then no harm in saying, "Look, I think I'd be a really good fit for this position. Given the state of the job market right now I'd even be willing to work free for a couple of weeks if that's something you'd consider?"

As far as the OP's year in a church-run program, just be honest about it. Obviously you discovered that the religious calling wasn't for you but going through the program is nothing to be ashamed of and shows you have initiative to explore different avenues. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:44 PM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,705,471 times
Reputation: 4769
I wouldn't make the work for free offer either, if I was hiring I'd be so taken aback I wouldn't know what to think and would probably pass on you just because of the weirdness of it.

The cost of getting someone up to speed especially in time invested (along with time lost looking for applicants) it's not really free anyway, plus many companies expose lots of internal things to employees that would just be too strange knowing someone is a volunteer-to-perm.

Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:49 PM
 
24 posts, read 35,525 times
Reputation: 17
Work without pay? That would be religious enough..
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: NYC
7,370 posts, read 12,754,271 times
Reputation: 10319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homiedontplaythat View Post
DONT offer to work for free. It makes you look weak and desperate. Be confident in your abilities.

I'm not sure about the software development field but it seems like skill sets that would be in demand. Start off doing contract work if you cant get a full time job with benefits.

confidence in your skills will take you farther than desperation.
I completely agree. Working for free makes one sound like a loser. I think offering to do contract work is the much better way to go.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:46 PM
 
14 posts, read 61,182 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
I don't think that in the current job market situation it could necessarily hurt but it depends on the way that the proposition is worded. If you really think you would be a good fit for a particular job then no harm in saying, "Look, I think I'd be a really good fit for this position. Given the state of the job market right now I'd even be willing to work free for a couple of weeks if that's something you'd consider?"
If a company has the money in their budget to hire you after 2 weeks of working for free then they have money in their budget to simply offer you a job after a standard interview. 2 weeks of working for free is NOT going to make a difference in their hiring decision. Companies want the "best of the best" or what they perceive to be the best of the best.

So if you are able to get an interview but not be hired, then turn around a few days later and simply ask them if they would hire you on a contract basis and outline for them how much they would be saving in HR costs, how you will be productive, and a plan for effective communication during your contract period.

You'll have to sell yourself. Either as a employee or a contractor but asking to work for free just isnt a smart business move, imho.
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