The “gig economy”: You’ve probably heard the term, but do you know what it means? Hint: It’s not about the “gig” in gigabytes.
The gig economy refers to the growing labour market trend of people working in temporary or flexible positions, often through online platforms that connect workers with customers or businesses.
If you are considering joining the growing gig economy workforce, read on to discover the top 5 reasons to choose freelance work.
Gig Economy and Freelance Work: The What and Why
The word “gig” has been traditionally used by actors, musicians, comedians and the like to describe a once-off performance or one that lasts for a limited time.
Similarly, in the gig economy, these gigs – or freelance jobs – can range from on-demand delivery drivers, to freelance writers or graphic designers, to home cleaners or handymen.
It's a way of working that is becoming more and more popular as technology allows people to connect and work remotely.
In recent years, we’ve seen more and more people adapt to changes in the economy that affected traditional employment opportunities and continue to earn an income – this time in the gig economy as independent workers.
As a result, a growing number of workers experienced the benefits of gig work such as:
- The freedom of being your own boss
- The ability to choose your work environment
- Designing a work schedule that meets your unique needs.
More people are actively choosing freelance work over permanent employment as it is more suited to their individual responsibilities and lifestyles.
The gig economy is driven by the rise of digital technologies, which have made it easier for people to find and offer work, as well as for customers to find and hire workers.
Choosing independent work over the traditional permanent employment model comes with certain challenges such as a lack of certainty, job security and comprehensive protection of labour laws.
In simple terms, the gig economy is all about flexible and on-demand work, where you can choose when, where and how you want to work. It's a new way of thinking about employment, and it's changing the way we work forever.
Top 5 Reasons to Join the Gig Economy
One of the biggest advantages of independent work is the ability to set your own schedule. You can work as much or as little as you want and you can choose the projects or gigs that best fit your skills and interests. This can be especially beneficial for parents, students, or anyone who needs to balance work with other responsibilities.
2. Earning Potential
As an independent worker, you have the ability to charge premium rates for your services and, in turn, increase your earning potential. Additionally, you have the ability to take on multiple projects at once. You have the freedom to take on more responsibilities if you have the capacity with no cap on what you can earn in a given month.
This is a huge advantage over the traditional fixed salary-based system where there is little incentive to do more than the minimum required for you to continue in the role because your earnings will likely remain unchanged.
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Freelance work gives you complete control over your work environment as well as the type of work you want to do.
A common problem in the traditional permanent employment model is a problematic organisational culture or a toxic work environment. As an independent worker, you are not forced to continue working in a space where you feel unsafe, uncomfortable or unsupported.
Additionally, you are able to reject certain projects that you may not want to do if they are not aligned with your personal or professional values. You can choose the clients or customers you want to work with, and negotiate your own terms and rates.
The gig economy offers a wide range of opportunities for independent workers. You are not confined to one role with fixed job responsibilities. Some people find traditional permanent employment to be unchallenging. Others may easily become bored doing the same thing day in and day out.
If you are a person who values novelty and thrives on new challenges, then independent work is a great option. You aren’t tied down to one role in one organisation so you can choose a variety of completely different gigs – for example, a graphic design project one week to building a website the next.
This variety can help you keep your work interesting and challenging. It can also help you diversify your income streams.
5. Self-Employment Benefits
Even though you don't receive the benefits of traditional employment as an independent worker, you have the freedom to work on your own terms, and the ability to structure your work to suit your lifestyle. You can also take advantage of tax breaks and deductions that are available to self-employed individuals.
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What Are You Waiting For?
Independent work is an increasingly popular option for many people, and it can offer a great deal of flexibility, autonomy and earning potential.
Now that you know what the 5 top reasons to choose freelance work are, are you keen on maximising your income by joining the gig economy?
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