Okay, some of these Questions are not asked all that frequently - but - perhaps they should be... to ask a new question ›contact me
Young people often ask me that, as they frequently face such a dilemma...
I say, "why not, I often do"...
I think it is a good idea to separate the work and the money, those are two rivers that often flow in parallel, one always greater than the other.
When either of them dries up - you are in trouble !
It is often said that time is money, but that is not true.
Money is a game you play with the cards you have.
It is acceptable, sometimes even desirable to work for free - the idea being, that it helps you gain ground, in the long term.
In economics this is known under the charmless term of "dumping".
Above all, the decision should be yours and no one else's.