I’m a front-end developer (fifteen years as a Flash / browser game and front-end developer) with limited CMS/backend for my market, which is a mid-sized city with not an abundance of front-end developer jobs. I’ve taken a couple months to build and polish a portfolio website, obviously to present some notable projects, but also to refamiliarize and update myself in ReactJS (a web technology). Since then I've been on the job hunt, which hasn't been straightforward, since everything requires either Wordpress or some backend) The employment gap from portfolio development might be another complicating factor. Money is a non-issue in the short term. I just need get busy again ASAP (but continue my job search, and hope to get hired).
I’m confident I can productively knock out billable work with any company, but I can see where issues arise in my perceived hireability.
So I was wondering... would it be so bad to:
Offer my skills to an agency for free? Basically volunteer/intern for them for say, a month to demonstrate my work and ethic.
Offer to start out under contract for a specified duration, maybe for a rate lower than would be expected to start at.
Just plain tell them you can start inexpensively (or that getting back to work takes priority over salary).
Strategies may include an understanding that you expect to advance quickly, get up to speed with whatever I need to, maybe hinting that I probably will be worth employment or a raise soon once I’m seeming productive. I would probably apply first, wait to hear back that I was turned down, then ask.
Are any of these or a combination a good idea, or a bad idea?