Personally I don’t mind Mondays if they are all like this!

3 Oct

Iain McIlwee, PCG's Head of Commercial Development

This morning was one of those Monday’s when I woke up and thought, what an exciting week, I was actually looking forward to work (..well almost, I had to have a cup of coffee first).

I know that sounds a bit smug (or like I had too much sun over the weekend), but working at PCG means I am working with some great people on some fascinating projects right now, with the third National Freelancers Day (NFD), all set for the 23rd November, central to this.

The contribution that Freelancing makes to the economy is not really in question (1 in 20 in the workforce, £82 billion turnover, essential flexibility etc), but more work needs to be done to ensure that the message is heard, by government and the wider business community.  By educating the market, NFD ensures that freelancers have to spend less time justifying their existence so they can spend more time making a real difference to their clients and the economy.  In a recent interview best-selling author Dan Pink stated “more and more, freelancing is becoming a legitimate and very important form of work, but there is still this residual sense that it’s an aberration.”  This is exactly where National Freelancers Day fits in, an extravaganza of activity to deliver this simple message, that freelancing is vital to the economy.

PCG focus is on four core activities and in each of them there is genuine cause for excitement, but the day isn’t about us and we invite others to pick up the mantle, be they freelancers, suppliers, agencies or others.

Dan Pink (mentioned above) has been a key champion of the freelance model in recent years and I am delighted that he has agreed to do a webcast to mark NFD 2011:

“Talented people need organisations less than organisations need talented people. There is still an intense battle for talent.”

From this bold statement, the ever insightful Mr Pink, will go on to explain why freelancing is an increasingly important and legitimate way of working (the core message of National Freelancers Day).   Dan Pink is one of 15 people lined up to support this fascinating webcast and each has a unique and interesting message to share – we will be announcing more over the coming weeks (7 weeks to the day this Wednesday….!!) and these will all be available on the National Freelancers Day website on the day.

Our “Fit to Freelance” quiz is an interactive tool that will be launched in the next few days.  It is a bit of fun, but the advice that sits behind it is serious.  Our test group did get a little competitive, only the select few so far have managed 100% (I will not at this stage reveal my own score – you can decide whether this is from embarrassment or modesty!!), but it certainly got some debate going.  We are grateful to all those fabulous companies who have agreed to support by hosting the quiz on their websites and urge more to get involved.

The Freelance Lecture is a suitable centrepiece, the venue is inspiring, we have some world leading experts from their relevant spheres on the panel and bookings are open and off to a flyer.  With Sue Lawley hosting the debate, we anticipate a lively evening focussed exclusively on the value of freelancing and the role that freelancing does and will play in a changing business landscape.  As tickets are limited (do book now to avoid disappointment) and we want everybody to have the opportunity to enjoy this prestigious event, we are streaming live over the Internet on the evening of the 23rd November and if you can’t make it to the LSO in Old Street, London, then you can join in online.  It is great to have the Telegraph on board again to help project the messages, opportunities and challenges that this lecture generates.

Finally the research is the glue that holds the day together.  Our work with both Kingston and Cranfield will again build on the truly groundbreaking work that PCG has done in this field and will no doubt aid in the projection and understanding of the value that freelancing delivers to business and the economy.

My hope on this happy Monday is that you share some of the excitement I feel and get behind National Freelancers Day, that some of the work we are doing inspires you and that you find in it something worth talking about.  Every voice adds so please have a look at the site and consider getting involved, link to the website, take the quiz, visit the webcast, tweet anything that grabs your eye, like us on Facebook tell your friends/colleagues/suppliers/clients (even enemies, we do want as many people as possible to know) and let’s unite freelancers, contractors, consultants, interims, independents and all of those who are part of the UK’s wonderfully eclectic and fantastically effective freelance workforce to work together to make our voice heard and our contribution recognised.


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