Working collectively: freedom to flourish

Last week marked the launch of an exciting new venture for freelancers like me.

The Difference Collective opened its doors to support clients in the healthcare sector with projects and extra resources. And I’m delighted to be a part of it.

So have I gone over to the dark side? Abandoned the Wordsmithy business I’ve built up over the last 14 years and headed back to the confines of the corporate world?

Not a chance. I’ve connected to a new channel that gives me access to exciting projects that I couldn’t deliver alone, working with talented, like-minded freelance professionals. I’m still free to work on my own projects and clients, while seizing the opportunity to do some different things and bring my content and writing skills to a new customer base.

I have good experience in the healthcare sector, supporting specialist communications and digital agencies. But I work in other industries too and have a track record and body of knowledge there. I enjoy the diversity of my work and wouldn’t change that. So The Difference Collective is a great way to develop more sector knowledge, use my specialist skills and complement the rest of my work. Working across many industries and project types keeps my approach fresh, and I hope that will benefit the Collective’s clients too.

As a business owner/operator/freelancer, it can get lonely. Though I’m established and well used to the ups and downs (feasts and famines!) of a freelance career, connecting with this powerful alliance of communications and strategy experts is both enjoyable and energising. The Collective has already changed my perspectives on effective ways of working, reminded me why I choose to work flexibly for myself and hooked me up with some innovative and very useful new virtual tools as part of its central platform of resources.

As part of The Difference Collective team, I’m looking forward to spreading the word to clients and new members, and both giving and getting creative inspiration from some of the best people in the industry. I feel like I’m part of a good thing here, with great colleagues and support, but none of the politics or petty irritations of agency or corporate employment. I value my independence, but I also love to learn from and work with others – together we’ll be making far more of a difference in healthcare than I ever could alone.

I think it could be the way forward for freelancers, not to replace their own direct networks but to enhance them and give a new route to satisfying team-based project work that’s focused on achieving rapid results for clients. I think we’ll see more such Collectives emerging over time, for different sectors and skillsets. It’s good to be in the vanguard!

The Difference Collective has marshalled some revealing statistics and insights into the freelance marketplace. Have a read and see why it really is “different” in a very good way, for clients and experienced freelance professionals. Look out for more of this on social media – the hashtag is #WorkDifferently.

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