CAREERS: Comment - Freelance posts offer a flexible resource option

As an interim marketing specialist I take particular interest in issues concerning the ’flexible worker’. More often than not the discussion centres on the 30-something professional with increasing family commitments and no let-up in their workload.

As an interim marketing specialist I take particular interest in

issues concerning the ’flexible worker’. More often than not the

discussion centres on the 30-something professional with increasing

family commitments and no let-up in their workload.



This, however, only serves to simplify the issues and restrict the

debate to the whys and wherefores of negotiating a flexible working

arrangement.



What is being neglected is the broader spectrum of flexible working and

the opportunities open to the marketer as a self-employed

specialist.



An experienced marketing practitioner will at some point consider

leaving the traditional working hierarchy to market their own services

to outside clients. At the moment the market for these services is

proving buoyant.



Trends indicate that in more and more circumstances businesses are

out-sourcing aspects of their marketing just as they had previously in

more traditional areas such as IT, finance, or facilities.



There can be numerous reasons why a company will appoint an interim

marketing specialist, and all concern organisational change. A position

may have become vacant due to maternity leave, or management succession

could be playing a part. The client may be over-stretched or

under-resourced, or they may simply have never carried out that task

before.



The opportunities certainly exist for the freelance marketer, but

exercise caution - a flexible arrangement does not necessarily mean an

easier option.



Becoming self-employed is an extra commitment in itself. The interim

takes on two jobs.



The first is the job you are signed to do. The second is the job of

business development - that is identifying your next client and winning

that contract.



Not to mention the administrative demands of running your own

business.



Business development is the key to success - this is where networking

and the use of intermediaries comes in. My current assignment came as a

result of the expertise of an intermediary agency, The Resource

Connection.



Being a specialist recruitment consultancy that has extensively

researched flexible working patterns, they have the relevant experience

of interim management and could therefore help me achieve my aims.



The importance of such agencies must never be underestimated by the

self-employed marketer - they are central to continuous and successful

business development.



Something of a pioneer spirit must also be adopted by the interim

marketer.



You may well be the first exposure the client company will have of

flexible working in practice. Not only are you selling your own skills,

you are selling flexibility as a viable concept. It is a double

challenge not for the faint-hearted.



Kevin Price is director of Perky Outlook.



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