Change of thinking in practice: payrolling yourself

It is the kind of scenario that would make you depressed. You want to work, a company has work for you for either a long or short period of time and wants to work with you, but employment is not possible yet. You do not want to work as a freelancer (yet), because you think it is too risky. It drives you crazy! These are the opportunities to get out of that dreadful unemployment and benefits situation. But what are your other options? In my first blog last week, I introduced the term ‘Workprofessional’, the employment form that is the perfect answer to this question. Here is the sequel, my second blog about the Workprofessional.

Who is a Workprofessional?

“I sent out 435 applications last year”, says Henk. “I was rejected 310 times and I have not had a response on 125 applications. Unbelievable isn’t it, they don’t even respond. It really puts you down, but I kept telling myself I see applying to jobs as a fulltime job. Every morning at 10am I would start, just to keep the daily routine going. And then I received an email from LinkedIn,” he continues. “An agency found me based on my profile. In the past I worked with a specific program and they had a client which used the same program. It is a long-term contract; at least 6 months with the opportunity of another 6 months. The only thing is, I can’t be employed by them directly, which is why am I searching for an alternative.
And that’s when I came across you on the LinkedIn group Servicepoint ICT of the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency), talking about your payrolling solutions for people in their fifties who find employment after being unemployed. The time when I worked as a freelancer is over.” Henk and I were sitting at a kitchen table in a small town in North-Holland, earlier this year. As someone over 50, he has been on unemployment benefits for almost a year and wants nothing more than get back to work. He is a self-made IT specialist, he installed the very first computers at his former workplace. Originally, Henk is a car mechanic, but he knew long ago it would be hard making a living in that industry. By going on courses together with having an encouraging employer and a healthy dose of ambition, he became a real IT Professional. After progressing and enjoying his work in ICT, it all ended in 2013 and he found himself unemployed. But now he has been found via LinkedIn and the future looks hopeful again.

The Workprofessional, it started with an idea.

A few months before I met Henk, I suddenly got an idea; one of those unexpected ones, just when you least expect it. An idea for a problem you’ve been thinking about for so long, yet every solution up till then doesn’t seem good enough. Then, suddenly, “Pling”, whilst doing the dishes around 7pm: the Workprofessional. Payrolling yourself isn’t new and has been done by many already. Aaltje Vincent, career coach and expert in jobmarketing, acknowledged this form of payrolling as early as 2012. What if you apply this type of employment to self-reliant jobseekers? And you let them decide how they want to spend any available funding? I put together a couple of our services, which combined, are unique in the market. Let’s call it ‘Change of thinking, in practice’. Payroll yourself out of unemployment and use government benefits to improve your position in the labour market!

Working as a Workprofessional offers perspective

A few weeks ago I was invited by CNV Professionals as a panellist to attend a discussion about flexibility in the labour market. This was at a job fair in Leeuwarden, organised by the CNV, a very good initiative of the union. Following the first question round addressed to the panel members, the CNV representative uttered the old union payrolling mantra: “payrolling should be banned”. But then, unexpectedly, a lady from the audience raised her hand: “Hello, my name is Marleen, I am 53 years old and I am on benefits. I would love to accept an assignment from a certain company, but this company is unable to hire me and asked me to work for them as a freelancer. However, working as a freelancer does not appeal to me, maybe it will in the future. Another option would be to work for them via a temp agency, but that would be too costly for the company in question. I would like to know more about payrolling yourself. To me, it sounds like something that can help me get out of the situation I am in”. The CNV representative was lost for words. A perfect example of how payrolling can make the difference, in this example, for Marleen. And I have to be honest; I couldn’t stop smiling. A specific example of someone who is 53 years old, who found work herself, but is unable to start due to all the hassle around it, and for whom payrolling can make the difference. That is why I started the initiative “Working as a Workprofessional”, where the possibilities of payrolling acted as a starting point. Payrolling can be a very good form of employment to help get people out of social benefits, to serve as a stop gap before a regular job or as a stepping stone to work as a freelancer. There are numerous employment projects targeting specific groups. But not everyone feels comfortable with these projects. A lot of people want to be and feel in charge during their search. Working as a Workprofessional will allow them that freedom and I am convinced that, for a lot of people, it is the employment form that will give them the best chance to get a job again. Marleen and I spoke extensively after the job fair. To be continued! Henk recently found out he can stay on until the end of 2015. In the meantime, he uses his €7000 a year from the discount on his premium to improve his position on the labour market. (The names are fictional, the events are not.)