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How to Decide If the Gig Economy Is For You

How to Decide If the Gig Economy Is For You

For many, the gig economy is more than just a trendy buzzword phrase. Rather, it’s a way of life that’s bringing additional income and independence to those who have struggled to find work in the past. According to CNN, it’s estimated that gig workers comprise 34 percent of the workforce and that figure is expected to grow to 43 percent by 2020.

Is it for you? Let’s find out.

Article by Lucy Reed

Gig Economy Pros and Cons

The gig economy holds lots of benefits for those interested in short-term and freelance work, especially flexibility. You can work the hours you want and always have a fresh audience for your work.

You can also work gig projects on the side of a regular job to learn different skills. Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.com, says, “It can be a stepping stone to learning new skills and even a foot in the door if you want to convert that temporary role at your client into full-time.” By working these types of projects, you’ll learn the basics an entrepreneur needs to know.

Gig work offers an opportunity to people with a wide range of backgrounds. According to Ogla Mizrahi, author of the new book, The Gig Is Up, and University of California instructor, the gig economy offers “tremendous opportunity” for people in their 50s and 60s, who have lots of expertise but lower odds of being hired at a corporate organization. Gig work can help them create a business from their experience.

Working in the gig economy, however, is not for the faint of heart. Because you resemble an entrepreneur, you will have far more administrative responsibilities. You need to book your own gigs, market your skills, and take care of your own healthcare and retirement plans.

Steady income can be a problem too, and you must make due without unemployment insurance in slow cash flow periods. This articleat Medium states that 57 percent of gig workers interviewed experienced cash flow issues in the last year.

If you think this kind of work is for you, you’ll need to decide which gigs make the best fit.

Work Ideas In The Gig Economy

What sort of work can you do in the gig economy? There are lots of examples, but here are a few:

  • App-based project work.
  • Food delivery and driving people.
  • Moving company.
  • Pet care and dog walking.

Of course, it’s best to work around your skills. What are some things you can do that transition you from worker to entrepreneur? Look at all your experience: marketing, web design, writing, making jewelry, etc. Can you train others in your skill? Can you become a business consultant or a coach? You can even sell memberships to your fans on Patreon, a website for creators to promote their work.

Building Your Own Gig-Based Business

Building your own business is the next step. As a gig entrepreneur, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your toolbox:

  • Track your finances so that you will be able to pay taxes on your business and income.
  • Weight the pros and cons of setting yourself up as a soleproprietor and or LLC.
  • You can also set up a 401(k) on your own. Learn moreabout securing your financial future as a freelancing entrepreneur from Business Insider.
  • Set up a home officewhere you can work undisturbed. You should have a computer or laptop, smartphone and printer, but you may also want to consider adding a fax machine as well.Create a workspace conducive to productivity. Make sure the area is well-lit, easy to declutter and provides a reason for you to want to be there. Decorate it with things like a vision board and goal levels for the months ahead.

Learn more tips on how to succeed in the gig economy from the Motley Fool.

Working in the gig economy can be challenging but it can also provide an opportunity to be your own boss. Careful planning will help you to succeed.

1 Comment

  1. Essentials Reply

    A lot of people find that the gig economy model falls down as a long term employment model given the common lack of worker’s rights, so it is worth considering that as well – things like paid holiday and sickness benefits are generally not involved. Will be interesting to see the outcome on the gig economy trend of the changes the Democrats are trying to introduce around proving employment: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-09/democrats-take-aim-at-the-gig-economy

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