Why I would do my job for free

The saying “nothing in this life is free” is not lost on me. My parents used this phrase often, and I have passed along this life lesson to my children on many occasions. I am the bookkeeper in my family, so I watch the money that my husband and I both work hard to bring into our household fly quickly back out to our cost of living. So, the reality is that it really isn’t possible for either one of us to work for free. However, I have always considered the level of enjoyment of any job more important than the salary, and therefore, have asked myself on many occasions, “Would I do this job for free?” And these days, I can honestly say “yes.”

How do I know? Well, I can tell you three key reasons right off the bat:


One of my key character traits – what most people who know me well would say about me – is that I am determined to be good at whatever it is I’m doing. I want that adjective in front of all of my descriptors – a good wife, a good mom, a good account rep, a good manager. And, if I can’t “get there,” then I don’t put time toward it. I am a pretty good tennis player, so I’ve kept that activity in my playbook (when I have time, which has been a while). However, I was not good at golf, so a few times on a course was all my husband got out of me.

When it comes to my career, though, I have a lot of confidence in my abilities. I’ve got a knack for PR thinking, strategizing and planning. I have a way with words. I love to write. I love to communicate. And, I’m an idea generator by nature – by God’s blessing. I’ve done great things through my career at Obsidian, and the satisfaction of being able to do something I’m good at every day is priceless.

Additionally, it’s that innate nature of analytical thinking, strategizing, planning and idea generation that keeps me “on the job” even when I’m not in the office. I often roll around ideas while driving, doing laundry, cleaning house or sitting by the pool with my kids. And nearly everywhere I go, I soak up influences that I can relate to different PR opportunities – from watching or engaging in human interaction to observing the many communication/marketing messages that are branded all around us. I can’t help it; I’m “on the PR clock” nearly 24/7. I would do it even if I didn’t get paid to.

And finally, I have to admit that there are days that my job seems a little too much, even for me. PR can be a very stressful profession. It’s No. 5 on the Forbes Most Stressful Jobs of 2013, behind enlisted military personnel, military general, firefighter and commercial airline pilot. So, I would be lying if I said that I don’t use the same analytical, solutions-driven thinking to ponder other job options on those long and tiring days. But, I honestly can’t ever think of anything I would rather do.

So, with all that being said, I do love my job enough to do it for free. Should the day ever come when “everything in this life is free,” you’ll still find me working in PR.