17 Jobs People Wish Others Would Stop Asking Them To Do For Free


Being asked to work for free is always a frustrating experience, but particularly so when it’s something you’ve spent time and money training to do well. Yet anyone in creative or tech fields could easily recount story after story of instances where this happened with friends, family, or even people they had literally just met.

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And it doesn’t stop with those types of jobs. More and more it seems that people are willing to request free labor from people who do things they don’t understand and certainly aren’t capable of doing themselves, either because they don’t consider it “real work” or don’t have the slightest clue what goes into it.

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Redditors are finding catharsis in sharing these obnoxious encounters, and warning others to keep quiet about certain hobbies or jobs so as to avoid demands for free work from the people in their own lives. You wouldn’t ask a CEO to draw up a business plan for you for free, so maybe don’t expect an artist to paint a portrait of your hamster without proper compensation either.

1. Photography

Get a DSLR and its just like owning a truck. everyone wants your help.

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2. Knit a sweater

First off, if you want wool or a natural fiber that’s $250+ in yarn. Then the gazillion hours to knit it….


3. Art

“You should sell this!” But won’t pay asking price.


4. Editing

For me it was editing papers in college. It started with looking at a roommates intro paragraph, and fuck. You couldn’t pay me to try and get you to sound human.

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5. Tech support

“You know computers, can you take a look at mine?” My degree wasn’t free. Pay me if you want a programmer to fix your viral laden porn machine…

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6. Babysit

I used to work from home, and so many people assumed because I was home and able to watch my own kids, I’d be down to watch theirs too. Nope.


7. Web design 

I doubt people understand how much work really goes into it, and they always scoff even when I say it will only be $500 or something.


8. Production

Run lights, sound, camera etc for free at their church, film shoot, concert, music gig etc. Nope, this is how I make my living and I don’t need the “exposure.”

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9. Medical advice

My son has blood in his stool-what should I do? Yeah, I’m a Peds nurse, but that isn’t something I can diagnose and treat over the phone.

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10. Network wiring

Network their house—with ethernet cable. I mean, I do it for a living. But, I’m not fishing cable through your walls and getting fiberglass lungs from crawling around in your attic for beer.


11. Electrician work

My brother’s an electrician. “Do some wiring to help out Dad with his latest project” is the #1 reason why he doesn’t visit the parents anymore.


12. Cook

Yeah cooking for a family of 4 is fine and dandy but making a catering order for a group of 250 people is much more complicated.

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13. Program computers

“I’m working for this non-profit. Can you whip up an app that would let them walk through a forest with their phone and it would count how many trees there are?”

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14. Mechanic work

People assume that cars are still the same as in the 70’s and that you can diagnose and fix an issue by looking at the motor with hood up and “tweaking a couple screws on the carb.”


15. Vinyl vehicle wraps

I used to do it for a living and now work in a completely unrelated field. Every few months a random coworker will give me the “If I buy all the material will you do the work?” pitch.

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16. Drawing

Never ever admit to being a artist because 9 out of 10 times they’ll want either a tattoo design on the spot or copycat something they saw online. And when I tell them the price or I won’t steal from another artist they get mad and tell me it’s so easy it won’t waste much of my time.


17. Mend clothing

Unpicking seams is so laborious – even with an unpick tool. When people think about the time spent on sewing they usually just think about the bits where you’re using a sewing machine. Cutting cloth is WAY more work than the actual sewing machine bits.