Valuing my time has become more imperative both personally and particularly professionally: last week a few people picked up on an article by Ellinor Otter talking about working for free being a ‘no no’ and the type of face she would make when asked to do so.

It was a frank article and fair play to her, I admire the upfront nature of the younger work force!

I then had a brief comment exchange with my fab pal Lisa-Nicole Dunne on what qualifies ‘as free’ both of us having worked with, and for charities through our careers and the great value in that: there are times to say ‘yes’ for sure, as an investment in your future or just a good quid pro quo.

Taking a strategic view is important when asked to do work for free. I have been on no fee board positions with both Sandford Park School and DSPCA for years but I see this as giving back, as passion projects almost.

As a young person it is imperative to exchange some free time to network, get involved and do the odd favour to learn, to grow and you really are missing out if you don’t.

A few years ago I got a call from a charity who outlined in minute detail the person they were looking for, full time, at the end of the call it was introduced that it was entirely for free, I remember almost spitting my coffee over my laptop (in fact I probably did), at the brass neck of said person, who is a very successful business person. I know that person doesn’t do gigs for free.

It taught me a lot. A gentle ‘no’, is the most fabulous of all boundaries for me, honestly, a walk in the park is worth more to me now.

Leaking power is not on our side ladies, (unless of course someone is offering you a talking platform with great exposure, or will give you a write up on their website, in an article, now THAT is worth doing), so this week think carefully about what you say ‘yes’ to, think it through and understand you are doing it for the rest of us.

As Ellinor says “If you don’t you are letting the side down”, above, my face when asked for a freebie! Would you cross this woman?

Have a good week!