The Pathfinder Programme from Working Free
Working Free Ltd is a specialist career advisory business supporting senior Director-level executives coming off the permanent payroll into an independent working lifestyle.
Through our Pathfinder Programme, we work for corporates with their senior executives. We coach them from dependency into independency – for their own future; for the enlightened reputation of their sponsoring company and – increasingly – for the benefit of the community. The process of delivering “social good” is important for all. Reflecting the level at which we operate, these senior executives will be in their 50s but with many in their 40s.
Why invest in the Pathfinder Programme?
- This unique Programme is for those who want to be Independents; to do their own things; to develop portfolio careers; to reshape their lifestyles around changing circumstances. Some simply fancy the idea. Some want to keep working. Some need to keep earning. All Corporates have their own internal Development Programmes for their senior people. These include helping their senior and Director-Level Managers in whatever they do next in their careers. This is a niche product within that space.
- Employees with an employer mindset are valuable. This programme does not magically produce this – but it does lay the foundations for its generation in those who have been through the programme. This should be to your advantage if and when re-engaging former employees on a freelance basis in the future.
- This mindset will also be valuable with Senior executives going through this programme and remaining within the business. Don’t forget that endowing your own senior people
through Working Free, you can endow your own senior people with these characteristics.
- Those who run businesses are increasingly looking for their own senior managers to have strong Independent Enterprise behaviours, supported by a results-driven approach mentality. Our aim is to create a mature understanding of corporate objectives and a commitment to progressive delivery philosophies.
- A useful observation of the Pathfinder Programme and when comparing it with other outplacement/ career development programmes is that it is a fusion of the DIY approach and external tuition with the interactive website constituting the strong DIY element. It is a bit like signing up for a degree course at the Open University. A lot of the work is DIY and with professional interventions at appropriate junctures. The cost is lower and the commitment is, arguably, higher
Positioning the Pathfinder Programme.
The Pathfinder Programme is specifically designed for each corporate client and within that are modules for each individual. The Programme is not intended to replace current career development or outplacement arrangements – they are designed to be supplementary; to fill gaps that most established Providers do not focus on and to open up new opportunities for both the executives and the sponsoring companies.
The Pathfinder Programme in action
For each cohort (between 5 and 15 Executives), the first session lasts for three hours and covers:-
- An introduction to Working Free.
- An examination of the principles and practice of the Self Employment Market
- Followed by a close look at career choices – including those personal and professional factors that shape a successful approach to operating independently.
- Finally, the Programme offers more detailed information and support around the growing range of what Working Free describes as Technical Topics – answering the question “What exactly do you want to do?” We focus on the specific professional areas that constitute the base of a successful career of any worker – including the independent worker. The Independents can then choose what they want to focus on and Sessions are then arranged – often on a one to one basis – but small groups can work well but may inhibit talking about some personal issues. See the current list of Technical Topics, which will vary depending on circumstances and opportunities.
Technical Topics Partners are formally engaged for each adopted Technical Topic and will lead Pathfinder Programme sessions as appropriate. It should be noted that TTPs are practising professionals and, whilst following our agreed programmes, some variations in content should be expected. Conversations around this feature are invariably very valuable.
What is this market?
The WFL Business Model is based on the Self Drive Worker Concept – and the market that flows from this – and which is set out in Section 5 of the website.
ONS statistics report that out of the UK working Population of 32.9m, only 55% are FTEs – nothing more and nothing less. This means that 45% are something else. Working Free describes these people as Self Drive Workers – and offers calculations to support this split. Others mat see this differently. But, beyond doubt, the number of people now operating independently – in a variety of ways – is very large.
What makes the Working Free Pathfinder Programme unique?
Our unique approach is based on our interactive and comprehensive working website which covers, in a structured way, the planned programme of effective support to the overall client base. In theory, the executives we work with can do it all themselves; in practice they need support. In real life, they will be on their own. So they need to be self-sufficient. Our working world is going this way. This website is primarily aimed at individuals who want to swap Dependence for Independence.
The overall Programme Delivery Plan is agreed at the outset and fees are charged for Cohort Seminars with Corporates for groups or individuals and also for follow up Technical Topic sessions.
Scheduling and Planning the work
Scheduling may not always be straight forward. All the projects will be different as:-
- Numbers attending – ideal numbers 5 to 15
- There will be a mix of topics to arrange at any one time – matching attendees, venues and TTPs.
- Mix of people – but need to be senior
- Individual needs to be catered for.
- Timings – Each session lasts for three hours for the first Group session and two hours for each Technical Topic delivered.
- Venues (ought to be clients’ premises)
Paradoxically, we are all Independent Workers in the end!