A New Economy
The gig economy is rapidly increasing. Now its advancing towards 50 percent of all American workers involved in one way or another as independent contractors.
The gig economy emerged over the past 20 years as another type of workforce. Paralleling traditional labor markets and assuring adequate income for millions of people unable to find employment elsewhere.
Many of the experts feel that this new trend towards job independence has to do with our digital technology. The ability it offers people to become more mobile in the workplace. Work is increasingly done at home, in the car, in a restaurant, on vacation, and even at the beach on vacation.
You can pick and choose your contracts just as your clients can pick and choose their freelancer from a large pool of workers for specific projects. Today gig economy is fiercely compe titive and global in nature.
What is Causing a Gig Economy?
Digital technology and robotics are fast replacing people in the traditional workplace for some types of work. People, however, can never be replaced entirely in the workforce.
An advantage of this new economy is a company’s ability to reduce its hired staff, decreasing financial pressure on that company. A disadvantage is a potential unemployment this brings.
It is increasingly rare for workers to join a firm and stay with that company until retirement. You may find, as your seniority grows within your business, so does your risk for the company considering you for “early retirement,” because you are too much of a financial burden.
For a company to run smoothly and show good profitability, it must:
- Offer costly benefits
- Provide adequate office space
- Train employees
Experienced and knowledgeable employees often come with high price tags. If their wages and additional compensation prove to be too high, the company can no longer afford to keep them on board. The company can then hire back these same experts as freelancers for specific, short-term assignments.
Companies reduce attractive benefits, such as pension plans and health insurance, because they can no longer afford to pay them to their employees.
A New and Attractive Way to Work
Freelancers get to choose jobs they want. Of course, no company benefits are available, and when the project completes, you can accept another assignment from that company or move on to a different company. As a freelancer, you are solely responsible for saving for retirement, affording sickness, paying taxes, and taking time off from work.
Many workers are worried about what the future holds. Some worry that robots will soon replace them. Questions to consider:
- Do you fear that great technological advances will decrease your ability to find work?
- Do you worry that the future may not provide enough jobs?
- Do you worry about being paid sufficiently to support yourself and your family?
- Does your current job demand more hours than you can give?
- Is your company going to give you enough hours to satisfy your desired income?
Due to flexible work hours, adequate pay scales, and impressive work, you may find your niche as a freelancer, contracting short-term assignments through any number of companies.
Freelance work loosens the relationship between you and your employer. You no longer negotiate company benefits because there are no traditional benefits. As an independent contractor, you have the advantage of mobility and flexibility.
The freelancer or contractor reaps short-term jobs through hundreds of independent assignment platforms such as thumbtack.com, Angie’s List, Upwork, Craig’s List, or fieldengineer.com. Gig economy allows for you to use all your expertise and skill in offering companies a solution to a short-term need.
Freelancers are now able to turn their love of something into a decent income, in fields like these:
- Telecom & Network Infrastructure Design and Install
- Writing for business
- Web development for businesses
- Arts and crafts
- Small business entrepreneurship
A gig economy appeals to many different people, such as stay at home moms, independent spirits, and creative artists. The gig economy often complements a traditional full-time job. Many freelancers or contractors use their expertise to leverage their short-term position into full-time job employment