Yet another new buzzword, “gig economy”, has been trending in today’s evolving digital world. The term refers to a labor market where people are hired for short-term assignments and temporary or individual contract work. The gig economy is comprised of freelancers, side hustlers, temporary agency workers, and contractors. People working in the gig economy typically are those who have recently been laid off, in the process of searching for a full-time job, in school, or looking to make extra money on the side in addition to their full-time job. In short, the gig economy translates to, individuals working a part-time job.
Over the past two decades, both Millennials and Baby Boomers have been flocking to the growing market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2017, 5.9 million people held contingent jobs in the US. Further data predicates by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be made up of gig workers. So what makes this type of economy so attractive? Keep reading to learn the benefits of working in the gig economy and decide if this is the right career transition for you.
Favor Flexibility and Freedom
Individuals get to work on their own terms and own time. They get to decide how many organization’s they want to work for based on their own schedule. Now more than ever, work-life balance is extremely popular and important. Flexible work helps achieve this sought-after lifestyle. Organizations who hire gig-based workers offer more flexible hours/days due to the fact that workers are only there for a short period of time.
We all know the bills won’t pay themselves. With that being said, while searching for a full-time job, gig workers can still earn an income by working a variety of on-demand positions. One’s pay is ultimately up to them, depending on how often they work and the industry they decide to work in. In addition to earning a sustainable amount of money, contingent jobs help fill unemployment gaps that would have resided on one’s resume. Beefing up your resume with experience while earning a steady paycheck, is extremely appealing to people.
Variety of Opportunities
People who thrive on change and constantly working with different people and industries, get the most out of working in the gig economy. There are endless employment opportunities that match gig worker’s unique skill set, lifestyle, and schedule. Working in a variety of sectors not only keeps employees excited and busy but, it also strengthens and expands their soft and hard skills, making them a well-rounded, marketable candidate.
The enhanced integration of technology and social advances are major enablers of the gig economy. People can work almost anywhere they want with a click of a button and some free Wi-Fi or unlimited data. A significant perk is being able to enjoy the benefits of working remotely and not inside a traditional office setting. Because of this ability, more and more co-working offices have been popping up in major cities. These spaces provide a dynamic, collaborative working environment where independent workers can work alone but at the same time, interact with others alike.
The ever-expanding gig economy is predicted to not kill the traditional 9-5, but it shows no sign of slowing down in the future. Millions of professionals of all ages are embracing the many benefits contingent jobs afford. This well-debated topic does come with negative aspects but, the freedom and control this type of work offers is far more compelling for workers in today's era. No matter where you are in your career, jumping into the rising gig economy can provide you with an abundance of valuable career opportunities that previously were limited to you!
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