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9 October 2020

Working independently – what a joy!

  • HRi blog

Posted by: Mary Asante

I have been working independently for 10 years and I have been reflecting on my journey. I thought I would share the 5 things I have found harder as well as the 5 things I love about my Indie choice. The good and bad because there is no ugly.

5 Hard things about being an indie:

  1. The uncertainty – This was especially a bigger deal when I first started out as I was the only one earning and had been used to a regular salary.
  2. The loss of status – I know. Makes me sound bad! But when you have got used to being the HRD of a well known organisation, it seems odd to hear yourself described as a freelancer.
  3. The lack of resources – ‘Where is everyone’?  was how I felt back in Year 1. I missed my PA the most but also working with other professionals like marketeers, accountants and other HR colleagues.
  4. The need to sell – Like most Brits, and most people, probably this was the hard part; having to promote myself and learn how to close a deal.  Also working out who was buying and who was not so I did not waste my time.
  5. The loss of structure – After the initial activity of getting set up and prepared, I felt like I was sitting waiting. And I was. I experienced some of the wrong networking (women’s groups with lots of 1 man bands like me) and found it hard to get through those early days.

5 Things that bring me joy as an indie:

  1. My flexibility – I can choose what I do and when. I did not have that freedom as a senior employee working for a large organisation. Far from it. I had to go to a pointless corporate dinner on my daughter’s 2nd birthday and it still annoys me now.
  2. Finding my voice – I have really enjoyed finding my voice and speaking out about topics I am passionate about.
  3. My finances – Without being complacent, you can build a great business and income as an Indie and I have appreciated that.
  4. Online networking – my favourite place to go is our ‘HR Independents’ Facebook group and looking forward to the new Group for HRi members. It’s been brilliant to have such amazing people to connect with.
  5. My home office – I just love my commute now and the coffee is excellent in my HR INDIE mug.  What pleasure to have a cosy and inviting space to work in. Only a recent thing for me as for far too long, I camped out in the corner of the spare room.

Please share yours as it is great to hear from others.

Author: Ruth Cornish, HR Indie and Co-Founder HR Independents