I'm applying to work as a machinist, but as student just leaving technical school I'm still somewhat green. For this reason I don't expect to be given the paid position, but I would still be interested in doing unpaid work for the sake of work experience. Would it look bad to mention my willingness to work for free when applying for a paid job?

  • Depending on where you are, it may be illegal for the employer to let you work for free for what would otherwise be a paid position.
    – Seth R
    Nov 30, 2017 at 4:10
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    Here's one job in the area: jobs.jobvite.com/atnz/job/o7s35fwr -- Here's how to find out about apprenticeship: careers.govt.nz/courses/workplace-training-and-apprenticeships - paid day one, learn while you earn. You must get minimum wage even to clean up. Places charge over $100/hr, no reason you can't get 15-20. If there's no work they don't need you for free, if there's plenty of work they can pay.
    – Rob
    Nov 30, 2017 at 4:39
  • Heh, it's funny you'd suggest the nz apprenticeships thing, i've applied for that at least twice and never heard a single thing back Nov 30, 2017 at 5:42
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    I've applied for that jobvite listing, thanks for the tip Nov 30, 2017 at 5:51
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    @Rob I'm referring to applying for an apprenticeship through careers.govt.nz Dec 1, 2017 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


Would it look bad to mention my willingness to work for free when applying for a paid job?

"Bad" I don't think so, but as Joe said in comments it would be unusual, as part of applying to paid positions is, well, because you want to be paid.

Given that you doubt you may land that (paid) job, but still would not mind working pro bono, what you can do is apply to the job, if you get it great, if you don't then ask if they have any unpaid internships or similar positions available.

This will still give you chance to see if you do land the job before offering your free services. Eventually you will have the confidence and experience needed to negotiate or land jobs with higher pay grades.

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