I have volunteered at a Free Clinic for about a year and a half; as a Pharmacy Technician. And I have a medical degree from my country. Recently the Pharmacist decided to leave her job, and the Management of the Free Clinic is not able to pay to hire a new Pharmacist, so they will hire a Pharmacy Technician to take her place. They have not considered me to fill her position, because I volunteered for free in the past.

Now my husband and I are both out of work and we have two kids. Also the land lord doesn't wish to renew our lease. So I now need the position because I need money to be able to rent a new home for my family.

How can I push the Free Clinic Management to hire me part time for the position?

  • 5
    Did you ask to be considered?
    – HorusKol
    Mar 23, 2017 at 1:05
  • 1
    Because you did it for free in the past they are not considering you. I would not do it for free anymore. That is sooooooooooooooooooo wrong.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 23, 2017 at 1:17
  • Yes, I asked to be considered; but they kinda turn their head away Mar 23, 2017 at 1:24
  • Perhaps also asking the previous pharmacist to help you out by recommending you for the position? I assume you had done a good job and I also assume you are on speaking terms with the pharmacist? Mar 23, 2017 at 12:04
  • 1
    They don't want to encourage you to apply for the paid position because then they'll also need to hire someone else to fill the position you'll be vacating; and they're obviously not convinced they can find another unpaid volunteer. Right now they're in a very comfortable position where they have nothing to lose by disregarding you, I'm afraid. However, the fact that they probably think they can't get another volunteer does give you at least some leverage. Mar 23, 2017 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


They have not considered me to fill her position, because I volunteered for free in the past.

You need to make it clear that while you have volunteered in the role up until now, you are not in a position to be able to do this any longer (heck, if they think they can keep you for free and have someone else, why would they pay you?)

They may then consider you for the role (if they really believe that you'll leave), or they may still not consider you for whatever reason. In either case, it sounds like you're in a position where you need paid work, so my advice would be the same regardless: update your CV, start job hunting and apply for as many relevant jobs as you can, not just this one.


Your situation is startlingly simple: you are not going to volunteer anymore. That's all the leverage you need. If they want you as a volunteer, you say no. They can't somehow trick you into working for free because you won't. It's very easy like this. If they want you as a volunteer, that won't happen. If they want you as a paid tech, that can happen. If they don't want you as either then you won't volunteer, which is fine.

My tip is say "I am looking for paid work currently." Do not talk about your situation in any more detail. They will just pay you less knowing you are desperate. Why would you let them know that? All they need to know if you won't work for free now. If they ask why you did in the past say you enjoy it. If they ask why you won't now say you are looking for paid work. Keep this very, very simple.

  • She can always fall back on the explanation that she was taking a career break to bring up her children, but they're now at an age where she feels ready return to her career. She doesn't tell us the age of her children, but to be honest that explanation works for pretty much any age child, since whether a child is "old enough" for a parent to decide to return to work is entirely subjective. Mar 23, 2017 at 14:13
  • 1
    @JonathonCowley-Thom No, absolutely not. That opens up way too much discussion when nobody owes an explanation for wanting a job. And that negotiation is nothing but projecting unconfidence and uncertainty in whether it's okay to want a job in the first place.
    – user42272
    Mar 23, 2017 at 15:37

I think it is only fair that they consider you based on the fact that you have volunteered for more than a year. But it depends in what position you have volunteered, I am presuming you have volunteered for the same role as the vacant one now and whether you fulfil required qualifications. May be they cannot consider you with a medical degree for a pharmacy technician, cos you don't have pharmacist qualifications. If they aren't ready to consider you after this long free service, they don't deserve you. Take your skills elsewhere. My humble opinion is one shouldn't give that much free service, some people only use us as doormat, but I'd have done the same if I was in your position and enjoyed what I was doing and not in need of any desperate money. May be you can ask if they want you to get some sort of certification while working, just to fulfil the job requirements. Good luck though.

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