Creating employment opportunities for flexible working in UX.

by Thomas Hawk (distributed under a creative commons licence)

I had a very active period earlier in the year where I tried to train up a number of fellow parents to support me with my UX contracts (I had 9 on the go at one point). It didn’t work for lots of reasons … probably tried to do it too quickly for one thing.

Why did I want to train people up? Partly to have some local people to thrash issues out with and this part of it worked really well. Remote work can be a lonely business. Partly because I would love to bring some work opportunities to this sector of the community (I can talk about this for hours see the blog link below!).

One of the problems I hadn’t anticipated was about trust. Remote clients are nervous at the best of times. Adding on the burden of a newbie doing work just didn’t help. Even my best client got jumpy. I ended up spending a lot of time managing people (clients and trainees) and not doing the work I love. So I stopped it all. Luckily the only thing I had to lose was my pride!

On reflection I’ve decided that I was probably asking the trainees to pick up alot in a short space of time. However I am convinced that there must be good ways to empower this sector of the population to embrace technology and find flexible work that suits their life.

Alongside my client work I have been trying to develop a revenue stream by creating ipad applications. I am beginning to wonder about working collaboratively with some of my former trainees to create products. This would have the advantage of not being time dependent (no outside pressure/self driven). I think it would be a great way for people to develop skills and gain ownership.

Any thoughts appreciated.

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