prəʊ ˈbɒnəʊ,prəʊ ˈbəʊnəʊ/
adverb & adjective
adverb: pro bono
denoting work undertaken without charge, especially legal work for a client on low income.
"the attorneys are representing him pro bono"
synonyms:free, gratis, unpaid, unrewarded, unsalaried, free of charge, without charge, for nothing, at no cost, without payment, for the common good; More
from Latin pro bono publico ‘for the public good’.
I am a legal drama enthusiast (I think being a lawyer was a missed profession in life) and occasionally things come my way that gives me a chance to help someone, for nothing or to give it a professional and Latin term, "pro bono". A few months ago I was approached by someone about writing their LinkedIn profile to help them look for a job after being made redundant.
When I first started Social Mouth, LinkedIn profile writing was a service I offered, with five years recruitment experience under my belt I know a thing or two about how to write a LinkedIn profile (my claim to fame was being featured by LinkedIn on their blog on how to complete your profile).
As my business has evolved, LinkedIn is no longer a platform I offer support for, however having been made redundant twice in my career; I know how harrowing it is and I felt that I had to do something to help this client - I have the skills so why not use them. I explained to the customer that I didn't offer the service anymore, but all they needed to do was fill in their profile by copying and pasting from their CV and if they wanted they could send me the link when they were done, and I'd have a read through. As someone with previous recruitment experience, I have seen hundreds of thousands of CVs - actually it may well almost reach the millions, so I suggested they sent it to me and I'd give it a quick check over before they proceeded. On receiving it, I could see why this person was struggling to find work; the CV was outdated and old-fashioned with far too much information. Despite having enough work on to keep me busy for a month, I decided to take thirty minutes and rewrite it for him and send it back. He was so overwhelmingly grateful and couldn't believe I did it for nothing. I felt proud of myself that I helped someone when they were down on their luck. I heard recently that he got a new job with his shiny new CV, which made me so happy.
I appreciate, giving away your skills for free may well seem like a daft thing to do in business, to do something for nothing and know that nothing else (paid) will come from it, but for me, I believe in karma, and I know that a good deed is always rewarded.
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"Working pro bono is not just limited to the legal profession" @socialmouthsam http://bit.ly/2v1tE09
My fiancé has professional skills that don't translate to pro bono, so instead, he undertakes two days charity work a year. It's a voluntary company initiative, but yet almost everyone seems to do it, and he comes back on those two days, glowing with pride, just knowing that he did something to make a difference. This year he made cottage pie for the parents of very sick children, staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Something so simple can make such an impact on others, and he used his excellent cottage pie skills to fill someone else's tummy other than mine!
So, why not do something today, for nothing and without expecting something in return. Perhaps a friend has been asking for some advice on something you specialise in, or maybe you know of someone who would like some headshots taken for their new business? You may even have an email in your inbox from a local school asking for a careers speaker?
So go on, make yourself proud.
I'd love to know what you did, so do drop me a tweet or DM on Instagram.
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