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Monday, July 13, 2009

should I give away my ideas for free when I'm looking for a paying job?

A reader writes:

I interviewed with a nonprofit two years ago and didn't get the job. I also donate a small amount of money every month to the organization -- like $25 per month. The group had a phone-a-thon the other day and called me to get my opinion on a variety of their issues. I answered the questions so well that the executive director now wants to meet with me to discuss my ideas. All the topics they want to know about are what I would be doing for them if they hired me two years ago. There was no mention of possibly getting a job and I don't know of any available now that match my background. I obviously want to provide meaningful insight but I'm unemployed and want to be paid for my expertise as well. How should I handle this meeting?

Head on over to U.S. News & World Report to read my answer, and please leave your own thoughts in the comments over there.