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If the term ‘Gig Economy’ makes you scratch your head in confusion, it really shouldn’t. The slang term “gig” has been used for over 100 years to refer to once-off entertainment performances, but its meaning has taken a different direction over time.
After reading this blog post, you’ll know exactly what the gig economy is, how it works, where to find gigs, and what you’ll need to thrive in the industry.
What It Is and How It Works
Let’s start by discussing what the term means today.
You’ve heard someone refer to a music performance as a gig, right? Well, in this case, we’re not referring to an open mic night at a local establishment. In this instance, the gig economy is a job market dominated by independent workers.
It provides job seekers with short-term, on-demand work opportunities rather than adhering to the traditional nine-to-five employment model.
In a gig economy, businesses save money by not having to train workers and rent office space. Instead, they opt to approach experts who work remotely to complete specific tasks at more affordable rates.
From the worker’s perspective, a gig economy offers an improved work-life balance that would otherwise not be possible with a traditional 9-5 job. Gig workers also have the luxury of only choosing jobs that interest them personally, instead of receiving an assigned workload each month.
The concept of the gig economy ultimately consists of three components: independent workers who are paid per task or project, consumers who require a particular service, and the companies that act as a middle-man by creating a connection between workers and customers.
We know what you’re thinking – this sound exactly like freelancing. You’re right, but freelancing isn’t the only type of gig work available. Consultants, independent contractors, seasonal workers, on-call workers, and temp contract workers also fall within this category.
According to Business 2 Community, by the year 2021, gig workers will outnumber traditional employees.
Finding The Ideal Gig
In a gig economy, workers use specialised apps and websites to find job opportunities. Sure, Gumtree advertises freelance job opportunities but if you’re looking for industry-specific work, these are six of the best websites to use.
The Pros and Cons of The Gig Economy
- You can choose how many hours you would like to work, as well as the ideal environment. Flexible hours without the restriction of four office walls. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
- Instead of following the same routine every day, you can decide which jobs you want to do.
- You decide how much you’ll get paid. Gig workers are often able to decide their own hourly rates. Note that, rates are often determined by the worker’s level of education and experience.
- You will also be open to multiple job opportunities. More work equals more money.
- You will be able to claim a portion of your rent, electricity, and all work-related expenses from tax
- Unfortunately, very few gig economy positions offer benefits such as medical aid and a retirement fund.
- You’ll have to file your own taxes.
- You will likely be alone most of the time, so having little to no social interactions throughout the day might become a problem.
Choosing the Best Gig
Before you update your CV, you’ll need to find the best opportunities. Here’s how you can find the perfect gig.
- Spend some time creating a list of all your skills, but also consider what kind of work you would like to do.
- Consider your schedule. If quitting your full-time job isn’t an option, or if you have important personal duties – you might not have a lot of time for some types of gig work. Choose gigs that allow you to choose how many hours you would like to work.
- Learn some new skills. As we’ve mentioned, the more skills you have, the more you can charge for your services.
- And lastly, keep an eye out for scammers. Unfortunately, job sites are a perfect breeding ground for scammers. Do some research to find out whether the company is real and reputable before you submit your CV.
The Bottom Line –
A growing amount of people are moving away from traditional employment in favour of “becoming their own boss”.
If you would like to become part of the gig economy, enrol in one of our exciting Online short courses and add marketable skills from the IMM Graduate School to your CV.