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?

1 comment:

  1. Nicola Wilson18 July, 2015 19:27

    And sometimes can we afford to... Clearly depends on the circumstances but while we may not hold contracts of employment, we're regularly seeking contracts or working under contract and in that case, in my view, need to consider carefully when and how to make a public stance on things as anyone who may be employed might do,