Creative Careers: Is It Ever Worth Working For ‘exposure’?

Amber Massie-Blomfield was unexpectedly lauded as a hero after declining an unpaid opportunity from the Department for Work and Pensions to participate in a campaign to empower young women in the workplace. As a creative freelancer based in Brighton, Massie-Blomfield was asked to provide a blog, video contributions, and advice. Such work appeals to many struggling creatives, who frequently get asked for unpaid work in exchange for experience and exposure. Reports suggest that the creative sector loses £5,394 per year due to unpaid work. Young creatives, such as students and new freelancers, are most at risk of exploitation according to surveys of the industry. It’s also unclear whether free work leads to paid work in the long run. The CEO of the Freelancer Club recommends steering clear of unpaid work unless it is for your mother. Although Massie-Blomfield reasons that there are exceptions where unpaid work may be justifiable, such as when a company has no budget, and other contributors are also working on a voluntary basis.

After spending some time working in the corporate sector, Zec became a co-founder of Paysap, where her efforts are aimed towards assisting other freelancers in pursuing overdue payments.

However, Major claims that the situation is changing. In February, the government announced an increase in its efforts to combat the issue of unpaid internships. Additionally, shifting public sentiment is proving to be a driving force. Major states that a "generational change" is taking place, characterized by a younger generation who is willing to speak up against the issue.

Blomfield acknowledges that not everyone feels comfortable or able to speak out publicly, but emphasizes that more voices can lead to a greater impact. She believes that public embarrassment can be a powerful motivator for change.

Blomfield has been contacted by numerous young women who expressed gratitude after she spoke out against the DWP, stating that they were inspired by her actions. She finds this ironic, as this serves as a "perfect case study" for their campaign.


  • oscargriffiths

    I am an educational blogger and father who loves to share my knowledge and experiences with others. I blog about a variety of topics including parenting, education, and technology. I hope to help others learn and grow in their own lives.