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.
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.
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.”