Careers

ESPN's Darren Rovell offers controversial career advice to young people: Work for free

Some would argue that following Rovell's advice is a mistake
Rich Gagnon | Getty Images
Some would argue that following Rovell's advice is a mistake

ESPN sports business analyst Darren Rovell ignited a debate on Twitter on Friday when he suggested the most effective way to further your career is to work for free:

While some of his tweets are tailored toward careers in the sports industry, in a reply, he also says that he gives this career advice "to every person I talk to. If you don't work for free, you often can never prove value to the most important people."

His advice is not unlike that of the Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella, who told fans on Twitter last month, "Look for internships. Don't worry about the money. Work hard & don't have expectations beyond being part of a team. Assume nothing."

Bestselling author and FOX Sports columnist Bruce Feldman agrees with Rovell and Coppolella:

As does reporter Ben Axelrod:

While Rovell makes the point that financial sacrifices up front can lead to invaluable long-term opportunities, advising young people to work for free is touchy, given their often precarious financial standing.

The average college grad leaves campus with more than $27,000 in debt and about 70 percent of millennials have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.

Not surprisingly, Rovell heard from critics:

Rovell, who previously worked at CNBC, offered one other piece of career advice that's less controversial but certainly unique: