Making the transformation from corporate rat race to a freelance HR professional
To be our own boss, not having to choose between flexibility, family and finance, to work hard but on our own terms is what many of us aspire for. I had these questions too, I am a mom, with a school going son, I don’t want to join the rat race but yet want to stay professionally relevant and financially independent. I would love to learn from somebody who had tread this path and was successful.
We invited Rangan Mohan, who made this leap from a successful CEO, high flying corporate professional to a freelance professional. He is today a Professor, Executive Coach, consults with a few companies and doesn’t hold one job but freelances.
He seemed like a happy camper, been there done it battle scarred veteran. Mamta Malhotra, Head of Organizational Development with a billion dollar Global IT Services Company gets him to unspool his learnings and experience in a freewheeling conversation in a webinar organised by KelpHR.
You can watch the video below and find out what he shared with us!
Now for those of you who don’t have the patience to sit through this, just a few quick notes I had put together during the webinar
The trigger factors for becoming a freelancer:
- The need to do something different
- The desire to learn and keep yourself relevant
- The recognition that every career has a life cycle.
- The need to reciprocate whatever you have been lucky to receive
Once you recognize and validate these factors, it’s time for change.
- Set a deadline and had a countdown to it
- Talk to and discuss with people who would be impacted by the change
- Financial analysis whether you could afford the change.
- Seek an anchor even as you make the change
The change you make will have positive impact and challenges.
The positives of course are:
- More time with the family and more flexibility to pursue what you want
- Opportunity to learn and get exposed to a variety of domains, situations etc.
- Confidence in your own ability to handle end to end solutions
- Builds up discipline and self-resolve when making it work
And the challenges are:
- Impact on the Family through no clear official position and uneven hours
- Finance through lack of a monthly pay check
- Ego as you would often be dealing with folks who would have been junior to you
- Approach to work that requires discipline, personal organization and documentation
- Every client will assume you work only for them – the challenge of serving multiple masters
- The challenge of switching context rapidly
And finally the success mantra:
- Ensure you start with an anchor client
- Reach out to your professional contacts
- Return every call and contact and never close any door
- Focus on a key differentiator
- Price it right and explain it right
- Build synergy through two different offerings – for example teaching and consulting or product distribution and training
- Make sure you are self-sufficient – infrastructure, travel, arrangements, end to end support