Friday, July 17, 2015

are freelancers modern-day prophets?

over the last few years there's been increasing interest and excitement about the rise in the number of freelancers and the attractiveness of this way of working, but I'm wondering if there's a role that if freelancers accepted and adopted, might see them make a truly transformational impact upon our economy and society;

as a freelancer myself, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the implications that this has with regards to earnings, my family, etc, but I've also explored it within the context of leadership - inspiring and influencing others on both individual and corporate levels. And through this reflection have realised that freelancers have a considerable amount of political freedom to speak out and challenge accepted norms and the things that government and other businesses do in ways that non-freelancer's can't;

you see it's all to do with employment legislation - if I'm your employee then everything I do and say is a reflection of your company by default. That means that regardless of how I may feel about the way a company has behaved or a specific government policy or legislation, I can't easily speak out about, or challenge, it without risking embarrassing my employer and so finding myself in breach of the trust with them them underpins my contract of employment;

freelancers have no such 'limiters' - we're much more free and able to publicly decry or challenge the behaviour of institutions and the State than others: much in the way that the prophets of the Old Testament scriptures did. Read through the stories of their lives again, and you'll see that they were willing to not only speak out against injustice and wrong-doing by the powers that be/were, but also to do it when it made them unpopular or placed them at risk of sanction and prosecution from the authorities of the day because no-one else was willing or able to stand up say something wasn't fair or right;

and in my own experience as a freelancer there are times I've taken on this role: publicly speaking out against the CIC legislation at a time when everyone else would only say how great it was. This led to my receiving some unwelcome interest and attention from some quarters, but hushed whispers of encouragement from people who were employed in the same organisations who were publicly praising it, and subsequently led to the legislation being changed!

Which brings me back to my idea about freelancers and prophets - in not having contracts of employment we're incredibly liberated to speak out against injustices and bad management by the powers that be, and in doing so can start to bring about a fairer society and economy for all. But dare we risk doing so?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

is the universe trying to tell me something?

Many people who've shared some of my professional life will know that I seem to be able to engage quite well with most people, and either be able to offer the support they need (however obscure or technical) or know someone who does.

I've always glibly explained it's "because my brain is wired funny", but a couple of recent events are making me wonder if it's actually because I may have inadvertently become the answer to life, the universe, and everything...

Most people know of the famous 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' book, and that in it, the answer to life, the universe, and everything is revealed to be "42". Well, that same number seems to be starting to crop up in relation to me... the number of my twitter lists, my ranking on a delivery schedule - so this is where I turn to you, dear internet: should I consider taking up 'guru' status (something I've always tried to avoid in the past), or am I just suffering from too much 'Deep Thought'?

answers on a postcard, please (or failing that, the comments box below)