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Michele
(Joined 2002)

An information specialist
who has worked with ClickNwork
since 2002 and who now mainly spends
her time running her own information
services business...

What matters to me: In a word, freedom! Freedom to control my own life, set my own hours and my own agenda; freedom from commuting and the tyranny of office politics.

Why I joined: My husband and I wanted to move out of London, where I was working and I was keen to carry on doing research, which I enjoy. Local opportunities for researchers in the Northern town to which we moved were very limited and I realized I would prefer to work on a freelance basis, from home. ClickNwork fit the bill - as long as I met deadlines, I could do the work in my own time, without leaving the house, which was great.

The work I do for them: Most of the work consisted of short (up to 2 hour) tasks using my research skills to interrogate commercial databases (such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis) to find additional information to supplement that found on the Internet. I would then summarize and analyze my findings. I also carried out larger projects for clients, which allowed me to take a more in-depth approach and dig deeper. I was also involved in checking and grading web references submitted by web searchers.

How ClickNwork works for me: ClickNwork was my first client, so I owe it a big 'thank you' and have many fond memories! However, my real passion is reputational research rather than general business research and I am now in a position to focus almost entirely in this specialized area.

Input: This varied - when ClickNwork was my sole client, it reached a peak of almost five days a week. Other weeks, I would just work a few hours.

Benefits: Flexibility - being able to choose when to work and being able to fit short tasks around other commitments. And the range of research was very varied, so I found it intellectually stimulating.

Room for improvement?: I sometimes had to turn down tasks due to the deadlines being too short, but this happens often in research - clients always want it yesterday! I also occasionally did research tasks where no matter how I tried, I couldn't find any results, which was frustrating from a professional point of view - I got the feeling sometimes that the client didn't really know what he/she wanted and as a result hadn't been able to express the request very well.

What's Next?: I recently set up my own limited company, as I want to expand the amount of work I can do for clients by getting suitably experienced researchers to assist me. It's an exciting time but also very time consuming, as I am still busy working on my own projects.

 

 

I'm based in Bedford, UK
The view from my home office
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