“I’m a recruiter at heart. I always knew I would end up in recruiting doing what I love,” Patti explained.
Patti Dorsey started her career over 20 years ago. She landed her first staffing role with Robert Half International as a Staffing Manager for their Accountemps, Inc. division. Patti enjoyed a fruitful and often laborious career in the staffing and corporate world, where she managed talent acquisition and recruitment teams.
Today, Patti is a self-managed member of the burgeoning Gig economy doing what she loves most—matching candidates with opportunities.
A global reckoning
With the work-from-home opportunities necessitated by a global pandemic, Patti, like many others, questioned her work/life balance and if in fact, there was any balance at all.
The pandemic taught employers that working from home was a viable option for their workforce. The flexibility of working remotely instilled a sense of freedom and control for employees. These changes sparked questions and debate about the possibilities for the future.
Here we are, months later, and the notion of remote work is more than just a trend; it’s a movement. This movement has opened the door to a variety of workforces, including contract, freelance, and on-demand.
The Gig industry was here long before COVID. While their flexible business model has flourished during the pandemic, clients and candidates like Patti realized something attractive and liberating about this work style.
COVID helped us all view the world through a different lens. “COVID made it possible for me and others to realize that we could take back control of our own lives and prioritize ourselves over work, without making sacrifices,” said Patti. This realization made all the difference in her career trajectory.
The when, why, and how
“In the Gig economy, it’s my vision and my goals. You can do the same type of work, but you realize when you work for yourself the when, the why, and the how are different,” said Patti.
For Patti, the “why” was prioritization and flexibility. Patti reflected on the differences between working for yourself versus working for a company. She noted, “In the corporate world, you slowly realize that you are working towards the company’s mission, not towards your own personal work goals. When you work for yourself, you work towards your own goals and hold yourself more accountable. You’re still able to produce the same amount of work. The crucial difference for me is, I am not thinking about working towards my next review, I am working towards meeting my personal long-term goals.”
“It was when my friends and family started to notice a difference in me, I realized I had lost my way,” she explained as she reflected on her turning point. Patti had fallen into the category of a “workaholic.” She had lost time, relationships, and eventually herself.
“I wanted my life back, I wanted to get back to Patti,” she proclaimed.
It wasn’t until COVID that Patti realized the possibilities of making the switch to the Gig industry. “Flexibility was the biggest motivator for me to finally make the switch. I had gotten to a point where I was finally courageous enough to break free from the corporate world and make the transition to on-demand work,” said Patti.
The final transition
After evaluating the advice of loved ones, Patti came to the decision that ultimately benefited her the most; she left her comfortable corporate position to re-prioritize her life. Soon after, she started her first contract role with Bolster helping companies recruit top executive talent.
While the Gig industry has its own set of ups and downs, it was the endless possibilities that helped Patti make the final transition to becoming a self-employed worker.
“I have been working in the Gig industry for a few months now and I have the flexibility to give back to the people around me, prioritize my own schedule, dictate how I spend my time, and most importantly, I have found my way again,” Patti said.
The future of the Gig Industry
According to the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) in 2020, there were 52 million contingent workers in the US, representing 35% of all workers, generating $1.3 trillion in revenue. The SIA expects 2021 to reflect an increase in the Gig economy, consistent with the recovery in the overall economy. The SIA classifies contingent work with the Gig economy.
Patti stated, “The future of the workforce is heading towards contract work. Companies have already started to move towards an on-demand workforce where they only pay for the services they need when they need them. Other professionals will start to realize they can utilize their potential and move over to the Gig economy in a consulting capacity and begin to see things through a different lens, as I did.”
As employers and employees alike start to weigh the pros and cons of moving towards an on-demand workforce, the future of the Gig industry remains a positive career move for most.