Gig Economy Rising

The convergence of two global work trends suggests a real challenge to the traditional mind-set of professionals. The 2016 global survey report, by Deloitte Consulting, entitled The Gig Economy: Distraction or Disruption says it in one compelling quote on page 1; “Almost half of the executives surveyed (42 percent) expect to increase or significantly increase the use of contingent workers in the next three to five years; 43 percent anticipate greater deployment of robotics and cognitive technologies.” The gig economy requires a decidedly entrepreneurial attitude about the market and oneself as a worker. This entrepreneurial frame of reference is not familiar to many career coaches and their clients who have prepared tactics for “job-finding”.

It will be essential for workers of all kinds to understand and use business modelling as they depict their professional offering in the market. The book Business Model You presents a personal business modelling method and the personal business canvas as a visual tool to depict your personal model.

This methodology will enable coaches and clients to depict any worker operating as a one-person business, whether working for an employer as a job holder or a free-lancer. It will create substantive strategic conversations about matters such as one’s internal or external customers, value proposition, key partners in accomplishing work and the channels through which others come to know about you and how they contract for your talent. This goes well beyond the scope of traditional job search that focuses on finding and fitting into a job that has already been defined.

My client, Mike, had been riding the roller coaster that the healthcare IT market had become. His last two director-level jobs ended when mergers eliminated full-time, staff jobs. Realizing that his regional healthcare market was shifting its needs, Mike rethought his professional offering and emphasized different strengths.

He emphasized his electronic medical records implementation skills and experience. This was gig-economy work that could be done on a project-by-project basis without trying to make any one project a full-time permanent job. Mike had to add new channels to market himself. He partnered with consulting firms and recruiters and attended different kinds of professional association meetinigs. His key activities shifted away from leadership and focused more on project management. This led to a steady succession of IT gigs in his preferred market sector of healthcare.

Four years later most of the mergers and acquisitions in his region had been completed as had the electronic medical record conversions. Mike was able to leverage all that contemporary gig-experience into a full-time, regular Director-level job at a stable, regional children’s hospital.

Learning to understand, depict and adapt your personal business model doesn’t mean abandoning regular employment for consulting or contracting. It means learning when and how to adapt your personal business model and your approach to the marketplace problems, issues, needs and trends that generate work.

Work and the workplace are, for most of us, a compelling arena to play out our personal strengths, interests and investment of energy. Career coaches are the ‘investment advisors” for this part of our life. They can help you diversify ways that you portray your talent and how you approach the marketplace. Work seekers must decide to stay in the vanguard of trends shaping the work-world of their customers or they will slowly become the old guard that is only prepared for a world that is rapidly disappearing.


Who is the author?

As a career and management consultant, Bruce Hazen combines 20 years of business experience with his clinical understanding and experience to address the needs of individuals, in a range of different professions, who are managing other people, organizations, and their own career development. His experience is complemented by a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a MS in Clinical Psychology. Bruce is a Certified Business Model You Practitioner.

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One Comment on “Gig Economy Rising”

  1. Dave Gallison, LPC Says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Very cogent piece about paradigm shift in how individuals will find work!

    I noticed on the site that you did not insert the photo into the article itself (see mine for e.g.) which you may want to do to break up the print a little.



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