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Working Free launches to help Director-level Independent workers move out of corporate life into the freelance economy

Moving from permanent employment to going it alone and being your own boss is an ambition for a growing number of individuals who want greater choice, flexibility and freedom in their working lives. But making the leap can be challenging.

To ease the transition, Charles Russam, the Founder of leading interim recruitment company Russam GMS, has launched Working Free  - a new information hub and advisory service, full of practical information to help senior level executives understand the skills and attributes they need to become successful self-employed workers or what he terms as, ‘self-drive workers’. Working Free provides resources, essential practical advice based on hard won lessons on how to be successful as an Independent worker and win work. 

Charles Russam said, “I launched Working Free because I get calls every week from people – the majority of whom are in their 50s - who want to strike out alone, but don’t know how to start and make the transition from traditional full-time employment. 

“We want people to understand that being self-employed isn’t a consolation prize for not having a ‘proper job,’ it is an exciting way of working, but it is different. It requires new skills, takes huge determination, resilience, training and a clear understanding of how to market yourself and win work – and this is where Working Free will help.”

The launch of Working Free comes hot on the heels of the publication of The Taylor Review, a nine-month review of employment rights for ‘gig economy’ workers by Matthew Taylor, appointed by Theresa May to examine today’s tech-driven economy.

Charles Russam, Director of Working Free says, “Matthew Taylor’s review is very useful in exploring this new working landscape, but its scope is too narrow. It focuses on a very small part of the self-employed work environment - the true size is far larger.

Around half of the UK’s working population is working independently in some capacity and many are working at a very senior level – as interim managers, consultants, project managers or non-executive directors.”

Based on ONS figures, Russam suggests around 47%[i] of the 32 million workers in the UK are likely to be self-drive workers – choosing to work for themselves driven by lifestyle choices or the need to find alternative sources of income.

Russam says the number of individuals moving from full-time to independent working grows every year. This shift has partly been fuelled by technology, which has allowed people to work more flexibly and not be office based, but also because people wanting greater freedom to act and to improve their work life balance.

He highlights that businesses increasingly want a more fluid work force. They want to be able to call upon resources when they need them, and not be restricted to always employing someone full-time. They want to be able to bring in skilled independent workers as part of their resourcing strategies – and this is an arrangement that benefits both parties.

“Mostly, executives coming out of corporate life want projects or gigs – not jobs.  Working Free aims to be the leading resource for those wishing to operate independently at a senior level with guides, tips and advice on issues such as taxation, marketing and business structures to ensure a successful portfolio career.”

Charles Russam offers seven tips from Working Free for becoming a successful Director-level independent worker today:

  • Have a viable professional product
  • Identify and understand your market
  • Understand your market’s context and positioning
  • Be very good at what you do and stay good. Specialists generally do better than generalists
  • Know how to get work
  • Manage your own Practice
  • Work harder than you ever expected – the harder you work, the luckier you get