We understand the ebbs and flows of a career – the desire to move, to change, to explore. But we understand the independent working world even more. So, if you’ve been working independently for many years, the allure of a fixed, regular, routine (read ‘salary’) sometimes simply feels like the easier choice. But what do you do when that decision to revert to the ‘structured’ is a little more real? For many, reverting back to full-time employment has been the right step for them. For others, it has simply been the easier way out of a challenging situation. So, if you’re faced with that decision and before you take that step back towards fixed employment, we wanted to remind you of five things that continue to make independent working, great.
1. The project-choice is yours
Working independently means you choose your projects and your customers. You hold control of the type, duration, and intensity of the project or industry that suits your skills and, more importantly, your desire. When you made your first decision to work independently, there was something about the thrill of being able to be selective about who you work with, and when. That has never changed. And with marketplaces like Talmix, we continue to present many of our consultants with choice and opportunity that allows them to decide what they want to work on.
2. You develop your skill set in a direction that is determined by you.
Many consultants, like Talmix independent consultant Thiago, tell us that the reason for becoming independent was driven by a desire to develop themselves and their skill sets in a particular direction - a direction that was chosen by them. In fact, for Thiago, what he missed most was, “just having the time to think a little more outside of my day job. Working within the investment banking industry you don’t often have time to be open and meet new people, explore business opportunities, and attend seminars and conferences”
For many, it was a new industry and for others it was simply a new type of client. Within full time employment, you may never had the chance to decide your own path in order to develop yourself more, and the biggest opportunity that independent working offered was the ability to choose a path that would empower and expand your own skills, experience and knowledge.
3. You work when creativity strikes
Career flexibility is considered by many to be the core definition of independent working. You control how fast, how much and when. And for consultants like Brigitte, her passion to balance her family life and develop her own career, meant that she had to find a solution that allowed her to work when she was able to, and more importantly, when it suited her most. And many of the consultants we speak to share the same common appreciation of a more flexible, independent working lifestyle: they work when they want to. But more importantly, they have the flexibility to work whenever creativity strikes, whether that’s at 2 AM in the morning, or only at 3 PM in the afternoon. Their time is their own, and they harness that whenever they want to.
4. Your success is yours – and yours alone.
Working for yourself does mean that you often walk a fine line between risk and delivery success. For those independent consultants who continually deliver exceptional work, sought-after skill, desired results and customer delight, they have the joy of knowing that this success is theirs, and theirs alone. Yes, one might argue that the reverse is also true, but if your value proposition and the service you deliver is true to your experience and expertise, your successes will be so much greater, and your reason to celebrate so much sweeter.
5. You are the solution to a problem.
As Mckinsey-trained Tamix independent consultant Katy once told us, “clients and employers don’t hire us to tell them things they already know about their own industries. They hire us to help resolve the problems they have, in an innovative way.” Don’t forget, the reason you left your full-time employment to explore an independent life was probably because you knew you held the skills, the expertise, the experience, the knowledge and, most importantly, the ability to solve clients’ problems. You – not your team, or the larger brand you represent, but you. You felt ready to offer yourself as the solution, and chances are, your clients were ready for you. And probably still are.
So, before you make the final decision back towards full-time employment, take a few moments and think about the reasons that made you consider going independent in the first place. But whatever you decide to do, understand that the independent world will never go away, and when you are ready to face independence again, Talmix will always be here to support you.
About the Author
Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.More Content by Katy Roberts