Thoughts on professional curtesy vs. paid work?

Recently I helped a friend of a friend find placement. It didn't take much for me to lend my network, and resources. I also steered the friend toward professional sites, and resume tips. I often do this for my professional network and family.

However, recently I've been overloaded by associates who need or want help. I hate to turn them away but I am on a job search myself, so have to stay focused.

My mentor suggested that I start thinking about a fee for service business. I checked with unemployment and if its minimum, then it won't intrude in my work status. I'd love to hear your opinions as to what is assistance and what is paid work? How do you define a service in our business of sourcing, networking, and match making?

Views: 56

Comment by Gino Conti on April 7, 2009 at 11:40am
I'm not certain if there are any legal items you need to keep in mind so I won't speak to that end.

However, I do think that pending the legality there are plenty of services you could charge for. Any type of career counseling such as resume writing or interview practice is certainly something you could charge for. There are plenty of career coaches out there who make a living advising people how to best present themselves. That said, providing some networking assistance or making an introduction is probably something you will have to do out of goodwill. It is harder to put a price tag on making an introduction for a person, and since sites like LinkedIn are built on the premise of fostering 'free' networking it may rub people the wrong way to ask money for such a favor.

Hope this helps, and best of luck on you search!
Comment by Bob Norton on May 27, 2009 at 5:15pm
Most states, including Massachusetts, by LAW do not allow an individual to both recruit and accept placement fees from corporate clients as well as ANY renumeration from candidate/applicants. The dividing line is not always clear so I'd suggest you perform one or the other. If in doubt, contact a competent employment lawyer licensed to practice in the state which you are considering operation before defining your services.


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