We have talked a lot about the hard realities of the Gig Economy – how it came into being and how changes in the socio economic environment have provided the right climate for it to grow and evolve. Having established all of that however, it’s important to look at the mindset of the successful gig employee and how that mindset is integral to adding value to your business. After all, it’s not simply about selecting someone with a good CV and putting them into a temporary role.

In our experience at gigCMO, the ideal gig candidate is someone who has reached a point in their career where they are no longer striving principally for personal gain. With a rich CV and knowledge gained through the hard graft of years going through the ranks, they bring integrity, trust and a seasoned outside perspective to your business in order to guide it through a particular growth phase or situation.

The most successful gig candidates to come into the C-Suite are in their ‘third careers’. That is to say, they’ve done the groundwork, they’ve been in your seat surrounded by other senior executives, and they’re no longer striving to build that kind of competitive momentum in their own careers. They’re motivated by interesting projects, fulfilment and freedom, and when they come to your business they’re not coming with ego and agenda to compete with other egos in your business. The C-Suite’s gig candidate is there to support you and the things you want to achieve.

What’s in it for you?

As a business owner, growth, goal acquisition and financial gain are likely to be top priorities, and so they should be. Likewise, young high fliers bring an important energy, vital to have within your midst to drive innovation and a universal desire to surge forwards. All of that needs a leveller however, to avoid making the faux pas that you could only foresee through experience, to envisage strategies and directions that only time makes you party to, and to deliver ideas and directives with an aplomb that turns aggression into assertiveness. So within your effusive, energetic, driven and likely competitive team, it’s important to have a smattering of people who are ambitious for you, but who are not competing with you. That is the role of your high value gig consultants.

It is also important to consider where you as a business leader are getting your support. It’s easy to think you should have all the answers, and while supporting everyone else within your team, it raises the question, who’s there to support you? Having been in that position themselves, a gig CMO for example, will understand the position you’re in and the challenges you face in your professional sphere, and maybe with some empathy as to the impact it all has on your personal life as well. Positive mentality and resilience are crucial elements of a successful business, and the ideal gig candidate will be empathetic to you and understand what it takes to achieve a particular goal. But now, as they’re not in competition with you to get there, you benefit from mentoring, coaching and the insight and knowledge that they bring. Quietly confident and a discreet confidante.

We mentioned in Chapter 4 that a study of executive profiles by the Harvard Business Review showed that the value in the C-Suite is generally felt to be in leadership skills and a strong grasp of business fundamentals rather than in technical and functional expertise. While the intricacies of technologies get more advanced from one generation to the next, business fundamentals, and ultimately, the art of liaising with other leaders are predominantly recognised to have nuanced, core pillars of understanding and diplomacy that your gig consultant can bring. It’s a high but indefinable value that their own successes attest to, but the bottom line is that it’s experience led not opinion led knowhow that they bring to the C-Suite, and unless you’ve learned it yourself over time, the only way to get it is by getting the right quality of person into your business.

What’s in it for them?

The pay off for this Holy Grail of long and hard learned business acumen that a gig consultant provides is encompassed in all the things we have spoken about so far in other chapters; lifestyle goals, freedom, and being in charge of one’s own schedule.

Having reached their third career, the ideal gig candidate no longer has the desire to harp back to their big glass corner office, even if it still existed. The big pay cheques may well be tantalising, but they’ve got the t-shirt and they frankly don’t fancy doing the daily commute to pick up another one.

The key driver for the gig candidate is to add value – this is the crucial part of the successful gig mindset. Having learned so much they want to give back and in turn feel valued for the depth of understanding that they can now bring. As we said before, these are people who have no doubt been in your shoes, knowing full well the stress, fear, excitement and workload that you’re under, and they take great pleasure in helping you to balance those elements and get to where you want to go. In short, they want to put their experience to positive use, and have time to enjoy it as well. Real world expertise that brings real world benefits.

Key points

  • It’s about selecting the right gig candidate to bring the right mindset to your business, not just choosing anyone with a good CV and putting them on a temporary contract.
  • Find gig employees who can help you to achieve your targets for your business and help to guide younger team members.
  • As a business leader, where do you get your support? The right gig employee is at a stage in their career where they understand the pressures you are under and without agenda can offer support to you personally as well as to your business.

READ CHAPTER 6: What mindset do you need to keep your talent?

©gigCMO First published  April 2018