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I worked as an intern for a large multinational company for about 9 months. It was not a difficult job. I exceeded what was required of me, worked weekends and even built a prototype reports website for them. At the end of my service, I was not retained and have moved on.

Recently, I got a request from one of my colleagues to help out the department, I did help him against my better judgment. Then he came with another request to help out the department.

I made it clear to him that I will not work for a multinational company whilst I am not a staff. He begged me for 3 days saying it was important to the department and they needed my skills.

I thought it was all over but I was contacted by another person in another department to help out with some work and told him no.

How should I handle a company that I no longer work for when they request more work, but don't offer to pay me?

closed as primarily opinion-based by rath, IDrinkandIKnowThings, David K, Dukeling, DarkCygnus Nov 14 '17 at 17:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Consider replacing No, I won't help you with Sure. My hourly rate is $X. I accept payment in advance. That'll be fun. Moving on, there doesn't seem to be a question in your post, I have therefore voted to close. What is it that you need our help with? – rath Nov 14 '17 at 17:14
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    I'm not really sure why you think there's a problem here - having worked for a company, via internship or not, doesn't give you any long-term obligation to do anything whatsoever (unless your contracts says so). – Dukeling Nov 14 '17 at 17:33
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    @dman You are never wrong for asking to be paid for your work. They use the product of your intellect to make money, it's only fair you get your share. Also well done for breaking your precedent of working for free by refusing. Regarding being paid by the company and not the individual, that's probably the correct call ethically as well. It doesn't pass the smell test for me. – rath Nov 14 '17 at 17:38
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    @StephenG Okay, maybe more manipulative that rude. Feeling like the bad guy when declining someone who begs is a fairly natural human response - that's the problem and can lead to making a decision that's neither in your best interest nor something you really want to do just to appease. – Dukeling Nov 14 '17 at 18:09
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If you work for free, you are telling people that you are worth nothing.

This is a dirty trick that companies use, and many even will try to get free consulting from job applicants.

As rath stated in the comments, "Sure, my rate is 'X', when do you want me to come over" is perfectly acceptable and entirely professional.

If they didn't think that you were good enough to hire full-time, they can pay your consulting rate, WHICH, BTW, should be at least 1.5x the rate they pay a full-time employee to do the same work, if not double.

Don't be angry, don't be nasty, but DO get paid for any work you do. This is not a favor you are doing for someone, this is work and you should be paid.

  • Ya I that's the tact I have taken – dman Nov 14 '17 at 17:30
  • "when do you want me to come over" - don't you mean "when are you sending me the contract"? – Dukeling Nov 14 '17 at 18:25
  • @Dukeling 6/1 12/2 – Richard U Nov 14 '17 at 18:33
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    I personally believe that if it's not W2 (i.e. still employed by them and get a W2 from them) then it should be at least double because you have to pay more taxes too. – Chris E Nov 14 '17 at 19:07
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    @PoloHoleSet and for a short term contract a week or so id be asking for 3x- 2x would be for a longer say 12 month contract – Neuromancer Nov 14 '17 at 20:26
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One or two small requests for information (not work) after you've left a company isn't entirely unreasonable, beyond that though it's taking things a bit far and it's perfectly reasonable for you to respond with a polite "no" and if they don't get the message you can ignore them.

If you're still on good terms then offering to perform the task on a freelance basis isn't a bad idea but this is entirely at your discretion.

  • Ya I did him that favour, it was not a small thing, it takes some time even with python. But, I decided not to entertain any requests till the company offers to pay me. – dman Nov 14 '17 at 17:28
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    They may not offer to pay you - but that doesn't mean they won't pay you if you ask. I imagine in the particular scenario you mention that this employee is in a bit of a hole and is contacting you unofficially though and in that case it's less likely to turn into a paying gig. – motosubatsu Nov 14 '17 at 17:30
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    Ya I made it clear I would like to be paid by the company. – dman Nov 14 '17 at 17:47
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I only hear from them when they need something, so why be bothered with a company that I no longer work for?

Although you should not phrase it this way, you are right. It is your choice to decide if you want to do those contractor works for your past company, and you are in full rights to decline their offers; by no mean you are forced to help them.

This really depends on your goals in life and what you want to do in short-mid term. Seems to me like a Masters is always a good idea to pursue, and also seems that you are willing and able to do so.

If you are having second thoughts, or this is gnawing at you, I suggest you think about this goals and priorities you have, so you are really sure that you wish to dedicate time and resources to your degree or you would prefer working instead. Who knows? Maybe you can even manage to do both, giving you more experience and also some extra money for you to use when studying abroad.

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