When we think of building our careers, we implicitly link it to a job, a contract, or a company we apply to. Can we build a career without it being tied to a job contract? This article explores that question a little closer.

In 2008, A.R. Rahman and Danny Boyle came together for the popular movie, Slumdog Millionaire. The movie won eight Oscars and seven BAFTA awards. They have worked together a few times after that.

But they are not employees of any company.

They are experts in their respective fields. They come together to collaborate on a project to create value, and in return get a piece of the resulting reward pie.

They have a career, but not a job.

You might say, it happens only in Hollywood. Not true.

The government of India embraced this model for its largest biometric ID project – Aadhar. Nandan Nilekani headed the project. He was not an employee of the government. He came as an expert from the corporate world, completed the project and moved back to corporate life.

In the same way, Amit Ranjan, co-founder of Slideshare is architecting a Digi-locker project. He is not an employee either.

I worked with the Government of India for six years rolling out an e-governance system for the Limited Liability Act. I was not an employee.

It is not only the Government of India which has embraced this model. The Government of Estonia too used this model to build their e-residency program.

Startups are another ecosystem which gladly embraces this model.

Startups can’t employ experts on their payroll. So what do they do when they have to access expertise? They partner with experts. Startups might partner with experts for preparing their pitch decks, reviewing security of their digital products, or to create sales playbooks.

Within the same startup ecosystem, venture capitalists team up with experts to evaluate startups that they are planning to invest in. I’ve been part of such due-diligence exercises.

This trend is not here to stay limited to Hollywood, governments, and startups. With the rise of remote working, this model of a partnership of experts is only going to grow. The obvious question is what can you do to take advantage of such an emerging model?

You should do three things:

You should start with content creation. It could be blog posts, newspaper articles, podcasts, weekly live shows, video courses, and so on which will showcase your expertise.

Once you have the content, use it to build a diverse network. Share your content with people inside and outside your industry; your juniors and seniors; Let everyone experience your expertise.

As you share the content and build your network, alongside, build social proof. Ask people in your network to recommend your content to others.

When you have content, network, and social proof, you will start to attract opportunities and dollars.

 https://jjude.com/ | @jjude


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