ITSM Crowd 15 & 16 Going Solo: Freelance work in ITSM

May 6, 2016

On May 5 we held 2 episodes of the ITSM Crowd to discuss our most popular topic yet – going solo.  Many of our training clients contact us asking about how they can become a trainer, coach, consultant or contractor in IT service management, so we got together our ITSM Zone team of mentors to share their experiences.

Thank you to Basab, James, Karen, Simone, Patricia, Robert, Alain, Dave, Suresh, Daniel, Ryan, Nicklas and Ivor for joining us and sharing their experiences and stories.

With every individual course purchased via ITSM Zone you have 30 minutes access to our team of mentors, so if you are considering going freelance, it’s a great opportunity to talk to someone in your geographical area or industry.

Types of freelance role

There are a range of different roles to consider if you’re looking at freelance work:

  • Contractor – someone who joins an organisation to fulfil a role for a short period of time. They can still bring a fresh pair of eyes and identify improvement opportunities, even if they aren’t consulting
  • Consultant - someone who helps the organisation to elevate itself and work in a better.  They are not doing the job, rather they use their skills and experience to lift the organisational skill levels
  • Coach or mentor – these words are not always used in the same way from organisation to organisation but a coach or mentor usually acts as an experienced or trusted advisor, supporting key staff as they work towards organisational or personal goals
  • Trainer – there are many freelance trainer roles available in IT service management

Preparing to go freelance

If you’re considering going freelance, our mentors’ recommendation was to prepare as much as possible while you’re in a full time role.  This might include:

  • Registering a company or creating a brand
  • Starting to create your own personal brand on social media
  • Doing any legal preparation and finding out what accreditations you might need
  • Researching your market and identifying target clients

You might also consider a transitional role.  For example, if you want to be a consultant, you could work for a consultancy organisation first to get some experience.

Our mentors all agreed being freelance can be incredibly rewarding, letting you get involved with sales, marketing, HR, finance and more.  The better prepared you are, the easier you will find this change.

Top tips for going freelance

Our mentors also shared some of their top tips based on their own experiences.  These include

  • Agree the scope of work so there is no confusion about what you are meant to do
  • Read any contract carefully, and get legal advice if you need it
  • Never burn any bridges and take good care of your reputation
  • Be ready to have no free time….and sometimes have more free time than you wanted
  • Be visible, focus and keep growing your network
  • Keep developing yourself, as you are your own greatest asset
  • Take good care of yourself, manage stress and schedule in down time
  • Be sincere and give freely of your time and knowledge

If you'd like to learn more about our mentors, just get in touch.

You can view part 1 here:

And part 2 here:

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