WHAT DOES THE GIG ECONOMY MEAN?
In recent years, the term “gig economy” has become a popular phrase you’ll often hear branded around. The question is, what exactly does it mean?
Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the gig economy. From what it means to why it got its name, learn more about this modern term below.
WHAT IS A GIG ECONOMY?
Gig economy is a fairly recent term used to describe freelance and temporary working. Companies hire independent contractors and freelancers, rather than taking on full time employees.
The rise in self-employment has contributed to the gig economy, with flexible working becoming increasingly popular. Many start-ups are hiring freelancers and contractors to help get their business off the ground, before hiring full time employees.
It can refer to remote workers, as well as local contractors. Most jobs carried out are one-off tasks, though gigs can also run long term. So, to sum up, the gig economy is basically freelance and flexible working, rather than being employed.
WHAT FACTORS DRIVE THE GIG ECONOMY?
There are a lot of factors driving the gig economy today. Advancements in technology have played a big role in making it a popular choice for workers.
The internet for example, has made it possible for people to work remotely, allowing them to ditch their 9 to 5 employment. The advantages of working on a self-employed basis has seen a massive rise in people ditching employment to become their own boss.
It’s also helped the business world too. Companies can now hire freelancers and contractors to carry out one-off tasks at a more affordable cost. They don’t necessarily need to hire additional staff in-house, which can save them thousands of dollars a year. Businesses also have a much larger talent pool to work with when they’re seeking new workers.
People are also a lot more focused on living the lifestyle they want. This includes travelling and not being stuck in a 9 to 5 job. The change in attitude regarding the workplace and remote working has really helped to drive the gig economy.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM LIVING THE GIG LIFE?
While the gig life can provide a lot of benefits, it isn’t suitable for everyone. As you aren’t employed on a permanent basis, income isn’t guaranteed. Some months you may earn a lot less than others, which can be pretty stressful when you have bills to pay.
In order to thrive in the gig economy, you’ll need to be extremely self-motivated. You will also need to handle periods of stress well, as well as be happy to work alone. Those working within the gig economy do report it can get lonely as you can feel disconnected from the rest of the workplace.
HOW IT WORKS
In order to work within the gig economy, you’re going to need numerous clients. You’ll take on a variety of “gigs”, with each one contributing a small percentage towards your income.
If you’re doing it full time, you’ll need to continuously search for new clients. However, it is possible to work within the gig economy part time in order to simply supplement your income.
It typically works through technology. The majority of gig workers rely upon technology to help them both get clients and carry out their job. There are a lot of websites which connect companies to contractors and freelancers. Or, you could contact companies directly to ask if they need contractors in your niche.
HOW TO START LIVING A GIG LIFE
Working within a gig economy can provide a lot of awesome benefits. However, if you’re looking to live a gig life, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider.
Here, you’ll discover how to start living a gig life to capitalize on its benefits.
HONE YOUR GIG LIFE SKILLS
If you’re thinking of diving into the gig life, you’ll first want to hone your skills. Those looking to thrive in this kind of economy need to have:
• The ability to accept and deal with failure
• Good financial skills
• Sales skills
As you’ll ultimately be your own boss, you’re going to need to be able to self-motivate yourself to carry out your work. This is especially true if you’ll be working from home. There are always distractions to deal with and it’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have a boss chasing you up. So, self-motivation is crucial if you want to be successful in the gig economy.
Being able to organize different tasks is also a good skill to focus on. You’ll typically be working on multiple projects at a time for different clients. So, ensuring you can prioritize and organize tasks to meet deadlines will be important.
You’re also going to need to be able to handle failure. Every entrepreneur and freelancer will fail at some point in their career. However, it’s important to ensure the failure doesn’t define you and take over. Instead, you’ll need to be able to pick yourself up and come up with solutions to overcome the issues presented.
Having good financial skills is also going to help. You’re going to need to be able to budget and prioritize your spending. Some months will be a lot quieter than others, which leads us into the next skill – sales.
Working within the gig economy means you’re going to need to consistently market yourself to new clients. This means you’re going to need to be good at communicating and selling your services. If you aren’t naturally gifted in sales, now’s the time to start improving your skills so that it can aid you in your new flexible career.
BEGIN WITH A NEW SIDE HUSTLE
A good piece of advice is to start with a side hustle. Rather than jumping into the gig life right away, test the waters by offering freelancing or contract services around your full-time job.
This reduces the risks and allows you to build up a client stream before you quit your job. Getting started can be a slow process, so if you want to ease the stress, you’re going to need to start off part time and work up to quitting your full-time job.
WORK OUT HOW MUCH YOU WILL NEED TO EARN
An important factor to consider is how much you’ll need to earn to make a decent living. Ideally, you’re going to need enough to cover all of your bills and expenses, while having money left over to live your dreams.
Working out how much you’ll need to earn will help you to determine how much you should charge for your services. It can be a great idea to research your competitors to see how much they are charging. This will give you a good idea of how to price your services and gain a competitive edge over other freelancers and contractors in your area. Doing your research and planning ahead is the key to success in this flexible yet uncertain economy. Taking the time to hone your gig life skills will also ensure you’re prepared for the challenges that come from this type of work environment.
HOW TO THRIVE WHILE LIVING A GIG LIFE
If you’re keen to make a living in the gig economy, there are a few tips you’ll want to follow. It can be difficult to thrive in the industry given the number of challenges it presents.
So, how can you thrive when living a gig economy life? Below, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.
ALWAYS CREATE CONTRACTS
A great piece of advice to follow when living a gig economy life, is to create contracts. It can be risky offering services to businesses and individuals without a contract in place.
As a gig worker, you don’t have the same rights as a full-time employee. This means, the scope of the jobs you’re working on can change, jobs may be cancelled, and you may have issues seeking payment for the tasks you carry out.
Having a contract in place eliminates a lot of these issues. It can also potentially help you avoid legal action if something goes wrong. Your contracts should state what is expected of both you and the company hiring you. It should also outline payment terms.
While a contract won’t guarantee nothing will go wrong, it does give you added protection in a gig economy.
BUILD UP ONLINE VISIBILITY
One of the leading challenges of living a gig economy life, is ensuring you have a consistent workflow. To remedy this, it can really help to build up your online visibility.
The majority of businesses and consumers today, use the internet to find local contractors and freelancers. This means, you’re going to want to make sure they can find you.
Start by getting a website developed. This will show customers who you are and the services you offer. You can also use it as a platform to show off previous projects and testimonials. Additionally, you can blog to increase exposure and ensure your website is found on search engines.
Another tip is to set up social media pages to advertise your gig services. Social media sites such as Facebook give you access to potentially millions of new clients.
BE PREPARED FOR UNCERTAINTY
Working within a gig life economy can lead to a lot of uncertain times. Things can crop up which take a toll financially, such as late payments and slower periods. Without adequate preparation, this could actually threaten your livelihood.
So, it’s worth starting to put savings aside which you could use in times of uncertainty. You’ll also find it useful to have a list of contacts available in case you do go through quieter times.
CREATE A PRODUCTIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT
If you’ll be working from home or remotely, it’s important to put together a productive working environment. This means, having a quiet, tidy space to work in.
You’re going to need to be self-motivated and productive if you want to thrive in this economy. Many studies have shown the importance of working environment in respect to productivity. So, spend time figuring out how you can make your working environment more productive for you.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Finally, a great tip to ensure you thrive in the gig economy life, is to know your worth. When you’re responsible for setting your own rates, it’s easy to undersell yourself.
When you know your worth, you’ll be able to stick to the rates you deserve. Some clients and businesses will always try to get a better price. However, you need to stick to the rates you know your services are worth if you want to make a decent income.
These are some of the best tips you can follow to thrive in the gig economy life. Remember, it’s important to take both the pros and the cons of gig working into account before deciding whether it’s the right option for you.
Are you living the gig economy life? If so, do you have any tips or advice you would like to contribute? Please feel free to comment!