You’ve probably heard the people around you mention the term ‘Gig Economy’ a couple of times. So what exactly is it?
To put it simply, the Gig Economy is a term used to refer to a labor market distinguished by a prevalence of contract work or freelance work instead of permanent jobs. In times past, the labor market was characterized by job opportunities that were stable and permanent.
Today, however, things have changed. Short-term opportunities or opportunities whose duration is not certain seem more readily available. Freelancers are on the rise and on-demand positions are more readily available.
Implications Of A Gig Economy
This has called for a workforce that is more flexible around the world as the trend seems to be on the rise in Asia, Europe and America. There are different reasons given for this shift, including a rising need to balance the needs of the family and one’s career.
With the benefits availed by the Gig economy come some of the concerns that have been raised by the older generation that held, and continues to value traditional jobs.
Some of their concerns include:
- Fluctuating income: When you have a gig, there is money to be made, but when gigs dry up, even temporarily, finances become tight. This calls for better personal financial planning.
- Lack of benefits: Most of the older generation held on to their jobs not just for the steady paycheck, but for the benefits as well. They were permanent and pensionable and enjoyed other benefits including medical insurance. However, the Gig economy does not offer these perks.
This is all considered instability by the older generation, while Generation Xers and Millennials would rather see the cup as half full, focusing on the other advantages they enjoy.
Jobs Commonly Found In the Gig Economy
- Caregiver jobs: These jobs are ideal for people who enjoy helping others. The options are endless, so you simply pick the job they are most comfortable in. Some of the positions available are pet-sitting positions, babysitting, elderly care and home care positions.
- Delivery gigs: Most businesses have had to go the extra mile of delivering goods to clients in the comfort of their homes. As long as you own a smartphone, you’ll be more than ready to start your delivery gig job. The services are on-demand and the charges are very reasonable. This makes them ideal for businesses that may be looking for flexible people to work with.
- Freelance opportunities: In order to offer freelance services, you will require a skill, a computer and some basic computing skills. It is important to have a website that pretty much acts as a portfolio, and leverage on the power of social media to build your own community. With platforms like LinkedIn, you can easily come up with a professional network where you get recommendations from satisfied clients. Some of the jobs available include social media marketing, content writing, photography, coding, accounting, and more.
- Hospitality jobs: Since the industry tends to have its high seasons and low ones, there is a need to hire on-demand from time to time. These positions are filled by contract workers who are willing to put in the time for the duration.
- Service jobs: These include cleaning jobs, painting, repairs and installations, among others. Laborers offering these jobs are available for contract positions. Once the gig is over, you’ll move on to the next one. By creating relationships with people they have worked with in the past, you can then get referrals to others in need of the same services.
- Rideshare jobs: These have become increasingly popular with companies like Grab and Gojek. Before doing so, you need to ensure that they you have the right car insurance before they can start.
Why Do People Prefer Gig Work?
It seems that more and more people choose to settle for gigs. There are several advantages that lure them into the gig economy. They include the following:
- Better flexibility: Who wouldn’t like a job that offers flexibility? You are able to choose what work you will do, and when you will actually do it. This flexibility enables you to have enough time to spend with family while still making money.
- Increased satisfaction: Since you are more in control of their work schedules and the type of work they do, most people derive a lot of satisfaction from their work. Even though they may not enjoy the security and benefits of traditional jobs, they are still very satisfied.
- A great sense of independence: You are their own boss. You set your own goals and work at achieving them. The best part is that you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder as you work. You have the liberty to plan your own time, manage client expectations, and deliver on time.
- Avoiding monotony: Since most of us, especially millennials, get bored after working in the same company for too long, the diversity of employers and gigs offered by the gig economy keeps work fun and vibrant. With every job completed, there are new skills learned that can be used to get a better gig. This means that advancement might happen quickly.
- Digital efficiency: With a variety of digital platforms available on which to find opportunities, freelancers can leverage their experience, skills and more to get more job offers. The platforms lead to concentrated job offers meaning that you are better able to make better job choices. You are able to pick jobs that are best suited to you, and that offer more autonomy and greater flexibility.
Tips for Working In The Gig Economy
Working in the gig economy is all the rage, and you can make it even easier and more fun with these tips:
- Take only suitable jobs: The best jobs are those for which you meet the requirements. This will mean taking stock of your strong points and what you excel at. If you have any doubts about your ability to do the job, you should probably not take it. By completing a task successfully, you are more likely to get positive feedback which then leads to referrals.
- Have a positive attitude: This means being professional, exhibiting a great personality, asking relevant questions, doing things in a timely manner, adapting quickly, learning fast, and providing solutions as needed. Once you have accepted the job, performance, efficiency, and results are what matters.
- The extra mile: It is great that you do what is expected of you, but when you exceed expectations, it makes a mark. Ensure that you are punctual, eager to grow and learn, and want to go above and beyond the call of duty. With such great work ethics, you’ll be assured that your client lists you as their preferred service provider, and that they will keep coming back for future business.
- Be flexible and open minded: One thing you can be sure of is that even when jobs seem similar, they are not the same. Being flexible and remaining open-minded will enable you to adapt easily, quickly and work well with a new employer to meet their specifications. Considering that you may be working for several employers at the same time, it is important to adjust to each one accordingly.
- Consider yourself the owner of a business: As a freelancer, you can be considered your own business owner. This means that your ’employers’ are your clients that you must satisfy. Seeing yourself as a business owner and not an employee will help you bring your A game to the table.