Most are familiar with the gig economy by now, but there’s a kind of richness to it that I’d love to weigh-in on, especially because it’s how I, like many others, earn my living. How big is this thing, really? Why is it something to follow? And, perhaps most importantly, is it something that you should get in on? Here’s what I know.
What is the gig economy (and why should I care?)
In broadest terms, a gig economy is where you are working for yourself instead of a company, and you work directly with a customer. Sometimes they’re a one-off customer, and other times they’re returning ones that you get over and over again. Here’s why it’s changing the way people look at jobs.
- You can scale it up or down: From side hustle to a full-time career, you can be your own kind of professional freelancer and use that title proudly. For those that have been waiting their whole lives to branch out, this is such a good vibe. And you can do it on your own schedule and timing so that you don’t need to quit your day job if you don’t want to. This leads me to my next point…
- There’s no such thing as a wrong time to start: Doesn’t matter if the market is “too saturated” in your niche, and it certainly doesn’t matter what chronological age you are. Me, I started freelancing during my last year of university while working another job and going to school. Perhaps it wasn’t the best timing, but it worked for me and I’ve never regretted it.
- You choose who you work for: There’s a certain freedom to being able to kick a bad or hard customer to the curb, though, and it can make your work-life balance a whole lot better. The more experienced you get, the more you’ll understand what customers are good or bad for you.
- It gives youngsters a chance: Whether you’re a business content writer like me, an audio tech, or an artist, no one knows who you are. That is, you can list your qualifications and get a portfolio going, but you won’t automatically give the impression that you’re under-experienced or a newbie — even if you are. When I first started working as a freelancer, I didn’t know a lot of the basic terms used in my trade. Words like “keyword density”, “SEO best practices” and “meta descriptions” were totally foreign. So, the first few communications with people, I was doing a whole lot of frantic searching to understand what it was all about. But, my work was impeccable and I learned from my mistakes and didn’t make them again. Even as a youngster, you get a chance to actually show what you can do instead of being the coffee-getter or the complaint handler.
Is the gig economy the right choice for me?
The whole point of the gig economy is that you are your own boss and you decide who you work for. While this can be a great thing, it also comes with responsibility. It’s completely different from a corporate lifestyle and there’s no such thing as a guaranteed paycheque. While it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s certainly fulfilling and a great economy that is earning a name for itself in our modern online world!
Do you have questions or your own observations about the gig economy you’d like to share? Go for it!
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Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 1100 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.