Have you heard of the Gig Economy? Basically, it is the name for the millions of people that work individual jobs without having a static employer. The COVID-19 pandemic has removed some of the luster from gig work as companies look to cut back where they can. Let’s take a look at the new gig economy, and how it functions during a pandemic.
What is the Gig Economy?
After the 2009 worldwide financial crisis, and with new mobile application services being developed that field individual contract work, the gig economy was born. Today, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce, including many unskilled workers, work “gigs” to make ends meet. It provides more freedom than traditional employment, but also removes any security having a job provides.
The 57 million people that work gigs are largely considered the most satisfied workers there are. They set their own schedules, they take work when they want to work (or need money) and overall they have more control over their lives than traditional workers. But in economic recession, when gigs are less and less available, it can be a difficult time for gig workers. With corporate profit down by 25 percent this year, you can see that many people that worked as independent contractors are going to find it harder to make ends meet.
Tips for People Trying to Navigate Gig Work
With the state of things, and with tens of millions of people out there looking for work, opportunities are limited; but I wouldn’t call them scarce. There are hundreds of millions of gigs out there. Today, we thought we’d provide a couple tips for the would-be gig workers out there to help them navigate through a pandemic-stricken gig economy.
- Build routines for work - The gig worker needs to have routines. Work schedule is probably the biggest one. One of the benefits of not having shift work is that you can work when you please, but trying to do everything on a whim is a major challenge. In fact, without a solid work routine, the potential gig worker is sure to miss opportunities.
- Really enjoy your work - Obviously the choice of when to work will provide a different perspective than traditional work, but when you work, you have to like what you are doing. Most successful gig workers like what they do and enjoy the challenges thrown their way.
- Constantly be networking - A big deal when your next job depends on someone knowing you and knowing your work. You need to continuously market yourself online. There are dozens of gig worker placement websites and once you do good work for someone, there is opportunity for recurring income. Also, if making money through gig work is your thing, meeting people that do what you do is extremely important. It gives you perspective of what you are up against and is sure to make you better at anything you are trying to do professionally.
- Stay comfortable - One of the most important parts of being a gig worker is to be comfortable where and when you work. If you are trying to do professional work with many distractions around, you will find yourself struggling. Make sure you have a dedicated workspace where you can focus on your work.
Times are tough for most people, but gig workers really need to buckle down if they want to get through the pandemic without having to worry about where their next rent check will come from. Have you worked as a gig worker? What other suggestions would you give someone who is looking to make a living as a gig worker? Leave your words in the comments section below and check back next week for more great technology and business content.