Yes, we did recently suggest you should avoid working for free, but this is a different concept entirely. While we still suggest not giving your work away if there’s literally nothing in it for you, there certainly are times when financial considerations aren’t the only considerations.
Pauline and I probably wouldn’t be where we are if we hadn’t agreed to work for little or no money. Most of the work I continue to get is still done on a voluntary basis, in fact.
Wait… well, maybe it’s ok to push for payment a little harder than we’ve chosen to. Learn from our examples, children.
The point is, sometimes you can find a way into the industry you want to work for through the side door of helping to advance that industry’s regional awareness. Or maybe you just like doing nice things for people who need the help. There are a few reasons you might decide to give your services away, but the crucial point to remember is that you are the one making that decision. “Compelled volunteering” is an oxymoron reserved for only for spouses and teenagers.