Creating Your Ideal Green Job in the “Gig Economy”

By JOHN GAFFIGAN ( / 703-283-6100)

After a layoff of the entire global sales team at Verio in August 2014, I ultimately decided to follow a path of sourcing firms that appealed to me, being an “Outsourced VP of Sales” for several emerging green technology firms that provide high ROI solutions, conserve natural resources, and enhance societal health and wellness.

Months one and two – I followed the time honored “traditional” path of going after sales roles via W2 salaried technology companies.   I wasn’t finding an attractive fit, so I started thinking about doing what I’d do if I could do anything. That “free your mind, Neo” revelation could have occurred sooner, but it only happened once I was mentally ready to change my entire philosophy about what constituted a job…a truly meaningful job!

Month three – I decided to find emerging companies that had unique value props. Here’s what I did, and what you might be able to do too:

  1. First and foremost, decide what you are truly passionate about (one day to a few weeks). Yes, still take interviews that aren’t your top choice, but some of your time should be devoted to what inspires you. If you are in an unappealing job today, use all your available free time to immerse in self-exploration.
  2. Write out a summary of edits you’ll make to your LinkedIn profile after thoroughly defining what you will do. Review profiles of people who are doing similar jobs to what you wish to do.
  3. Research companies that are in your target market (Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, specialty magazines, LinkedIn categories, various blogs and forums, etc.)
  4. Modify your LinkedIn profile to reflect your newfound professional status BEFORE you reach out.
  5. Prepare a “Consulting Agreement” that holds both Company and Consultant in equal measure.
  6. Call the CEOs at your target list and inquire about roles they might have for engineers, sales, researchers, etc…whatever capacity you objectively feel you can serve. Do NOT worry about lack of quals in your target space. Green tech is very much a startup industry!
  7. When you reach agreeable terms (likely to start on a performance basis and/or with retainer), get a native email and business cards from the consulted company.
  8. Join LinkedIn groups, Meet-Ups etc. that address the sort of work you wish to do…be active with them!
  9. Try to find intriguing companies that overlap, i.e. what you do for A advances B, etc.
  10. Give yourself two – three months to decide which ones are working for you.
  11. Build up your consulting list to be somewhere from two – ten…constantly water and prune.
  12. Make known to your business friends what you are doing, share the proceeds. I have a partner in NC that is helping me on both Global Nano Sciences and Util Auditors…both lines are highly synergistic.
  13. Have an understanding spouse that’ll put up with your journey as you await 2 – 3 of them to hit!

Ventures in which I am actively engaged… – via (VP of Sales once website is revamped) – I serve as a Consultant to this venture that finds OPEX inaccuracies. – I serve as the VP of Sales for this indoor agriculture venture. – I’m running sales for this emerging professional development training company.

Potential involvement with these Green Technology ventures… I might serve in some sales capacity for this conservation venture by year’s end. – This innovative building venture requires capital funding for expansion to the east coast.

John Gaffigan spoke at our upcoming Green Jobs event on August 18, 2016.

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