Born out of the industrial revolution, ‘standard employment’ (a term coined to describe a permanent full-time employee), has been on the decline for the past decade. As the workforce continues to become more agile, flexible, and interconnected with rapidly advancing technology, more and more employees are making the switch to embrace the ‘gig' economy.
What is the ‘gig’ economy?
Unlike standard employment, where an employee works in exchange for time-based remuneration, in the gig economy, individuals with unique backgrounds offer their specialised skillsets on demand and as needed, working mostly as independent contractors, freelancers and temporary workers.
Who are these people?
There’s definitely more to the gig economy than Uber drivers and those picking up jobs on Airtasker. More and more people, across many industries, are making the change. Listed below are some common examples of those working in the gig economy:
Pros and Cons
Flexibility, globalisation and the rise of mobile/remote working technology are just a few of the factors seeing employers and employees alike turn to a gig economy model. Like with any type of employment, there are pros and cons of gig work. If you’re still not sure whether gig work is the right pathway for you, we have highlighted some of the benefits and other things to take into consideration, below.
- Be your own boss
- Flexibility over your schedule and the type of work you create
- Encourages a healthy work/life balance
- Ability to work on a variety of projects
- Gives the chance to gain experience in different fields and build networks
- Offers various sources of income
- Acts as a “try before you buy” - provides an opportunity to experience a workplace and witness the culture before committing to a permanent role.
- Employment is inconsistent and uncertain at times
- Roles are temporary and short term
- You need to be able to market yourself effectively - the “hustle” is a must
- The work can be isolating at times
- Negotiating your own wages and specific tax obligations requires knowledge and discipline (Check out more info here).
- Gig workers are not entitled to sick pay, annual leave or superannuation.
If you like the sound of gig economy work, consider some of these questions to see if it’s the right career pathway for you….
Do you have the temperament for the ups and downs of being a gig resource?
Can you thrive in times of uncertainty?
Are you comfortable working alone?
Are you organised and disciplined to be your own boss
Are you resourceful when faced with challenged?
How will you plan for the downtimes?
According to Deloitte, Independent workers are becoming a critical sector of the U.S labour market and a number of trends are leading to its growth. If you’re interested in being an independent contractor, you might like to join the Home of the Travel Entrepreneur as an Independent Contractor. Click here for more information.