This paper considers the current debate on the changing position and meaning of paid work in Western societies. In the wake of a structural crisis of fulltime employment, a new role and potential is attributed to voluntary work. With data drawn from a survey of Red Cross volunteers in Flanders (Belgium), this research assesses empirically the value volunteers attach to paid and unpaid work and their disposition to combine paid and unpaid work more ﬂexibly. Contrary to current theorizing about the advent of a brave new world of work, this study provides evidence for a continuing existence of strong paid work orientations, even among a population that actually performs unpaid work. Moreover, it is not the economic (dis)embedding of volunteers, but the extent and nature of their social participation that primarily explains the strength of paid work orientation and the propensity to tailor paid work more ﬂexibly to volunteer work.