The gig economy refers to nontraditional, temporary work done primarily via digital platforms like Uber or Airbnb. Workers in this economy complete small projects for on-demand payment.
People who rely on gig work often do so for financial reasons (saving up extra income or covering gaps or changes in their income), as well as being their own boss or simply doing something enjoyable with their spare time.
1. Know Your Value
The gig economy is an emerging part of the workforce that encompasses contracted work such as ridesharing, food delivery, dog walking and writing. These jobs typically utilize technology to connect workers with those looking for their services.
Some individuals are drawn to gig work due to its flexibility. Of the current or recent gig workers who rely on this type of employment for financial support, almost half cite savings or covering gaps/changes in income as key motivations for doing gig work.
However, the gig economy does come with its share of risks for workers – for instance, being treated rudely on the job and feeling unsafe is always possible; and many gig economy jobs don’t offer benefits like health insurance and retirement savings plans.
2. Be Flexible
Many factors have contributed to the surge in freelance work. Employers slashing benefits during the Great Recession caused benefits to be reduced while advances in technology make finding contract work simpler than ever.
People cite flexibility as their main reason for engaging in gig work, with women reporting higher engagement in gig work to meet family obligations while simultaneously meeting work obligations.
No matter if it be ridesharing, food delivery or freelance writing projects – gig economy jobs have become an increasingly popular way for professionals to build their resumes and earn additional income. Benefits may include enhanced opportunities to advance careers while improving work-life balance.
Businesses of all kinds can take advantage of the gig economy’s growth. It enables them to meet fluctuating customer demand without incurring overhead costs like office space and utilities; as well as reduce training or onboarding requirements for new employees – saving both money and providing quality customer service.
3. Build a Network
Many people become freelancers deliberately in order to capitalize on their unique skill sets, make more direct money, and escape corporate work environments. Others end up following this career path unwittingly; perhaps leaving an employer that is experiencing layoffs only to discover themselves jobless ghosts; or starting freelancing on the side for extra cash but eventually turning it into their full time gig.
As a freelancer or independent contractor, it’s key to build a network that will present business opportunities as they arise. Goel recommends being introduced directly to potential clients who vouch for your skills by someone they trust as well as joining communities that support freelancers and independent contractors – this way you’ll connect with like-minded people while learning from their experiences. Also consider attending networking events and trade associations where people will come face-to-face and you can promote yourself and showcase your skill set.
4. Keep Marketing Yourself
The gig economy allows workers to approach work more flexibly and independently, whether focusing on freelance projects full time or supplementing their regular income with occasional assignments. Plus, with online talent platforms becoming increasingly accessible for talent searching purposes, physical location no longer matters when finding gig work opportunities.
Organizations benefit from using temporary staff as an affordable and streamlined way of meeting seasonal or fluctuating demand, while mitigating recruitment, hiring and onboarding costs for permanent employees.
Though gig workforce has its advantages, it also presents unique challenges. Many of the same issues as traditional employment – financial uncertainty, no benefits and job insecurity – remain prevalent within this workplace model. Furthermore, many young workers in particular often change jobs more frequently than older colleagues, making it more challenging for them to build long-term trust, customary practices and familiarity between clients and employers.