Leap into the gig economy with confidence and some good advice.
The gig economy allows people to choose their work and monetize their assets. It promises flexibility and control. Increased gig worker demand is driven by customers who only want to pay for the projects and services they need right now. For new workers, however, entering the gig economy is scary. Gigs don’t have the stability of traditional jobs. They worry, “Do I have what it takes to make it?” Yes you do, probably. We work with gig takers every day. Here are some lessons for surviving and thriving in the today’s gig economy.
Remember Why You Gig
People enter the gig economy for all kinds of reasons:
- Career change: become your own boss
- Side hustle: make some extra money
- Semi-retirement: stay active in your golden years
- Skill upgrade: get paid to learn before going full time
- Money gap: make ends meet on the weekend or after hours
- Long-term world travel: stay solvent off the map
- Asset maximization: monetize your car or vacation property
- Artistic expression: live your dream while keeping your day job
Slow patches, work-life imbalance, and fear of failure make gig work stressful. Remembering why you entered the gig economy can carry you through the hard times. Put a sticky note on your monitor, and always keep the end in mind.
Specialize in Your Skillset
The gig space is crowded. Many people compete for gigs by establishing a niche. The more you specialize, the more your target clients will trust what you have to offer. Specializing may also justify higher compensation.
Plan Like a Startup
Successful startups adapt. They make a plan and constantly reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust your plan accordingly.
Startups are lean. They avoid expenses that don’t boost the bottom line. They use growth hacking to maximize value, efficiency, and exposure. New entrants to the gig economy should operate the same way until they have stable work.
It takes time to figure out a sustainable gig routine. Few professionals get it right immediately, so be patient. Some gig takers find that working extra hard at the beginning can expedite the time to stability.
Embrace Your Inexperience
It is okay to take gigs in an unfamiliar field. Maybe you’ve never been paid to write or take pictures before. That’s fine. Offer your first gig for free. That takes the pressure off. Your client doesn’t have anything to lose, and you get a realistic idea of your ability and the work involved. From there, you have genuine experience to talk about with future customers. You have a baseline for pricing your services. You’ve got meaningful experience right away.
Pick a Platform
Finding your own gigs can be challenging. Your sales and administration time competes with your billable work. Listing your services on a third-party platform streamlines sales and payment collection. It also gives you exposure on high-traffic sites and apps that people trust.
Here are some of the most popular platforms:
- Ride hailing: Uber, Lyft, Juno
- Home sharing: AirBnB, onefinestay
- Professional services: Thumbtack, TaskRabbit
- Delivery: Postmates
- Housework: Handy
- Pet care: Dogvacay
ProEdit staffs short-term and permanent positions across North America. Our network includes thousands of professionals who trust us to help them navigate the gig economy. Join us!
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics