Blog Featured

From Layoffs to $100K in 6 Months: The Amanda Cathey Story.

Nicholas Fouriezos
Nicholas Fouriezos

It felt like fate, when Amanda Cathey began working on Braintrust.

She had built something special over the previous three years — a lead role at a major insurance company focused on growing their UX experience team on both U.S. coasts.

But when a re-org led to 80% of her team being laid off in January 2021, the product designer thought it was time for a change.

Amanda discovered Braintrust and was quickly offered a contract job with the innovative real estate brokerage Compass.

She didn’t immediately accept, wanting to take some time to rest after a stressful year. But months later, on a road trip to Venice, Florida with her three girls, it seemed the company’s name was everywhere she turned — from seeing Compass “for sale” signs to coming across a Jeep brand “Compass” on the highway.

“I bet this is going to come back around,” she said to herself.

Sure enough, Amanda soon accepted a contract through Braintrust and made $100,000 in less than six months — about twice as much as she would have normally made freelancing over the same time period.

Talent Feature_ Amanda Cathey Quote 1 Tile V2

What’s more, she now had access to top clients, including hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies like Porsche and Black & Decker, a huge benefit compared to recruiting services that typically made her communicate through a middleman.

“It’s like going directly to the company,” Amanda says.


From visual design to designing the life of her dreams.

Amanda began her freelance career while still in grad school in New York City, cutting her teeth as a visual designer for an educational software company before doing contract UX design for Publicis.

Early on, word of mouth was key to her success, and Amanda leveraged connections she made while studying at the renowned Parsons School of Design.

Now that she’s been on both sides of interviewing, Amanda feels like the traditional hiring process is clearly broken. She’s seen how hard it is to find good people, and also seen too many good people fall through the cracks.

“It’s almost like you should just hang out for a day at a coffee shop,” she says, laughing.

Her contract work offered a different way to get to know companies, and has often led to clients offering her full-time roles. Starting first as a freelancer before taking jobs, Amanda felt empowered.

“I find it’s great to start out as a contractor. In a sense, you can experience the company and they can experience you.”

That’s exactly what happened on Braintrust, with Compass offering Amanda a salaried job with benefits after being impressed with her contract work.

While she is now working full-time at Compass, and hopes to be there a long time because she loves the company’s mission and team, Amanda plans to keep using Braintrust when she is looking for freelance opportunities in the future.

“I feel like everything is a gig now,” Amanda says. “You have to keep your options open.”


Fostering connections on the network you own.

One of the key challenges of freelancing alone is handling compliance.

“The bookkeeping stuff,” as Amanda calls it, was one of the key reasons she stopped freelancing for a few years before discovering Braintrust.

Braintrust works directly with clients to ensure that Talent passes H.R. and billing hurdles, making it easier for you to focus on your core work.

What’s more, every user is a part-owner of the first decentralized talent network, meaning they can use BTRST tokens to vote on key decisions made on the network.

Talent Feature_ Amanda Cathey Quote 2 Tile V2

All of those benefits have helped Amanda, and other Talent like her, build a future of work that works for them. She says, “You make good money at Braintrust. If you can figure out how to manage it, you can have a really good quality of life.”


Want to get started?

  • Get Involved. Apply as talent or hire phenomenal talent as a client of Braintrust.
  • Meet the community on Discord. Learn how to start earning and governing with the BTRST token on the Braintrust community channel.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Hire Top Talent

iOS Developer UI/UX Designer Web Developer Software Developer React Native Developer React JS Developer Ruby on Rails Developer Node JS Developer Android Developer Mobile App Developer Java Developer PHP Developer Laravel Developer .NET Developer Full Stack Developer Python Developer Angular Developer AngularJS Developer Front End Developer Data Scientist App Developer iPhone App Developer Shopify Developer Drupal Developer Unity Developer Vue.js Developer Django Developer JavaScript Developer Backend Developer C++ Developer Web Designer eCommerce Developer SEO Xamarin Developer Magento Developer Blockchain Developer AWS Developer Solana Developer Crypto Developer AI Engineer Graphic Designer WordPress Developer Flutter Developer Dedicated Developer Game Developer Project Manager Salesforce Developer Programmer UI Designer WooCommerce Developer ASP.NET Developer WordPress Designer Freelance Developer Ruby Developer Golang Developer Swift Developer DevOps Engineer Web App Developer HTML5 Developer IoT Developer Kotlin Developer CodeIgniter Developer Brand Designer Product Designer API Developer Mobile App Designer SQL Developer QA Tester Database Developer Product Manager Data Analyst 3D Animator Power BI Developer Webflow Designer HubSpot Developer Data Engineer Technical Writer Chrome Extension Developer Cloud Engineer Network Engineer QA Engineer Video Game Developer Tableau Developer Discord Bot Developer GUI Designer Business Analyst UX Researcher Embedded Software Engineer Roku Developer Rust Developer Docker Developer Apple Developer Program Manager Creative Director IT Project Manager Go Engineer Sys Admin Growth Marketing Manager Growth Product Manager Algorithm Developer User Researcher Agile Product Manager Windows Developer Excel Developer Big Data Architect Scrum Product Manager Kubernetes Expert Usability Testing Expert Security Researcher Ethereum Developer Umbraco Developer Symfony Developer OpenCart Developer VR Developer PrestaShop Developer CSS Developer TypeScript Developer WordPress Theme Developer Shopify Web Designer Volusion Developer HTML Developer Yii Developer Chatbot Developer C Developer AI Artist AI Chatbot Developer AI Chatbot Specialist AI Content Creator AI Content Editor AI Designer AI Developer AI Researcher AI Specialist AI Writer Artificial Intelligence Engineer ChatGPT Specialist DALL-E Artist Data Annotator Data Modeler Deep Learning Engineer Generative AI Engineer Generative AI Specialist Google BERT Specialist GPT-3 Specialist Machine Learning Engineer Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Midjourney Artist ML Engineer Ontologist OpenAI Codex Specialist Prompt Engineer Stable Diffusion Artist 3D Artist 3D Modeler Animator Affiliate Marketing Manager Community Manager Content Marketer Content Strategist Copywriter Demand Generation Manager Digital Storyteller Email Marketer Event Marketing Manager Influencer Marketer Marketing Analyst Marketing Campaign Manager Marketing Researcher Marketing Strategist Performance Marketing Manager Product Marketer Social Media Marketer Art Director Blockchain Architect Blockchain Security Auditor DeFi Engineer Designer Digital Project Manager Engineering Manager Full Stack Engineer Illustrator Marketing Coordinator Motion Graphic Designer Product Marketing Manager Product Owner Software Engineer Solidity Developer Content Designer Technical Project Manager UX Writer Videographer Visual Designer Web3 Developer Website Designer