November Round Table Recap: The Gig Economy – The good, the bad, & the ugly

The 2019-2020 MCDA round tables were successfully launched on November 5, when Catherine Byers Breet, in true form, facilitated a wonderful presentation on the topic of The Gig Economy – The good, the bad, & the ugly, a topic she is well versed in from personal experience.

After several years of working in leadership and recruiting positions for recognized staffing firms, Catherine ventured out on her own. She shared mistakes and successes she realized along the way, as well as statistics related to the gig economy.

According to Freelancers’ Union and Elance, a staggering 53 million Americans are working as freelancers. This includes independent contractors, moonlighters, diversified workers, temporary workers, and freelance business owners. In addition, the gig economy in the US has grown from 16% in 1997 to 34% today (Freelancers’ Union and Upwork).

Catherine facilitated two very thoughtful exercises during the round table, allowing participants to talk with each other about people they know who are and are not successful in the gig economy. As part of this, she outlined two critical questions that must be answered by anyone considering pursuing gig opportunities:

  1. Is gigging right for me? Am I built for it? Why do I want to be in the gig economy?
  2. Is now the right time in my life for me to pursue gigging?

The answers to these questions are unique to each individual and involve intense self-reflection.

Throughout the discussion, Catherine talked about the positive and not so great aspects of gigging. As you might imagine, the positive aspects include the ability to do the work you want to do, freedom, flexibility and the ability to make good money! On the flip side, the negatives include being on your own for all aspects of the business, lack of healthcare and other benefits, and having to sell oneself – not the favorite task of many people!

There are a multitude of resources in the Twin Cities to help you determine if gigging is right for you, and, if it is, to be successful at it. These include libraries, alumni associations, SCORE, WomenVenture, and of course Arbez, Catherine’s business. Visit to learn more about the free series, Explore Consulting Now! And The Ultimate Consulting Coaching Program

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