A Power Chat With Val Sorbie: An Executive From The Kahuso Community
For me, the Kahuso way of working is about a different, out of box approach to professional life that lets me meet my family, financial, and intellectual goals all while having a positive and meaningful impact - and keeps me in control of how they all work together."
Val Sorbie, Senior Strategy & Operations Executive
Val, thank you so much for having a chat with us. To start, can you describe your work story?
“About 18 months ago I left a traditional work arrangement in the corporate world. I had spent 28 years in Strategy Consulting, as COO of public and private companies, and most recently CAO of BMO Capital Markets."
"Instead, I started working with a small and interesting venture for 6 months and I realized that this is what I actually really love: helping small - mid size organizations develop and achieve their goals and growth targets."
"A Better Way To Work."
"I wanted to combine control over my time and workflow with meaningful projects with positive impact, and it soon became clear that the best way to do this was not to go for a full-time role but instead, to put together a portfolio of different gigs. So for me, this meant a mix of board, advisory, and temporary or part-time project work that let me use my strategic, operational and senior management background."
What advice would you give for people starting down the executive gig economy path?
"For people just coming out of the full-time corporate roles, I would say, expect a roller coaster.
Some days I want to pinch myself with how fortunate I feel, while other days will be difficult particularly trying to manage the logistics of multiple gigs and not hearing back from prospective gigs in the agreed to timeframe - and that's part of the journey.
It can be a challenge getting used to shifting to a different way of running your day and career, there's much less structure and support on a daily basis.
It's the source of freedom that’s liberating but initially, it can also be stressful"
"There are three questions you need to ask yourself."
"Start by asking (and then answering!) these three questions: What are you good at and are known for?
What do you love to do?
And then how do you want to do it?
This will help shape and structure the type of work arrangements that work best for you."
What advice do you have on securing that first or second gig?
"Be prepared to help companies understand how they can use you - this means don't just walk in with your CV, instead, really look for the specific nudge opportunities that will let you add value quickly and it can grow from there. They might not even know what they need. Ask a lot of questions and consider a short diagnostic exercise to start.
So why do you Kahuso?
"For me it's about a different out of box approach to professional life that lets me meet my family, financial and intellectual goals while having a positive and meaningful impact - and keeps me in control of how they all work together."