The gig economy is a term used to refer to the many jobs being created by technology companies that contract independent workers for short-term engagements. It is estimated that 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors by the year 2020. While the flexibility of freelance work can be liberating, there are definitely drawbacks to working through the gig economy.
To succeed, a person must be incredibly self-motivated. Without a supervisor breathing down your back and telling you to meet deadlines, you have to be that person. You also have to be in charge of your time management and your own schedule. It helps to create a daily routine that keeps you on track so you don’t end up wasting time on non-essential tasks. Working minus a team can also be quite lonely. Spending time in local freelancers meetups, working from a public space, or simply scheduling face-to-face meetings with clients can help mitigate the loneliness you may experience.
More Tips for Gig Economy Success:
- When you work via 1099 contract, you are in charge of your own taxes. Set aside 25 to 30 percent of your income to pay taxes and keep your receipts for every cost and expenditure related to your business for deductions.[Text Wrapping Break]
- Create a brand for yourself. Using the same design elements and copy across all your media and advertisements creates a cohesive voice that people will recognize.[Text Wrapping Break]
- In addition to putting aside funds for your yearly taxes, also start contributing to a retirement fund. An IRA or single 401(k) takes advantage of compound interest to build you a nest egg you can rely on when you grow older and don’t want to work anymore. [Text Wrapping Break]
The Best Gig (or Gigs!) for You
There are countless different companies offering gig work to potential workers, but you have to find the kind of work that appeals most to you. If you have a skill such as coding, writing, or digital design, chances are you want to list your services on as many sites as possible to increase your chances of attracting hires. When you’ve set up accounts and listed your services, be sure to enable desktop alerts so you know when you’ve piqued somebody’s interest. There’s nothing worse than missing out on a gig because you didn’t check your account in time.
You can take advantage of the gig economy even if you don’t have an IT skill to market. One of the most popular gigs is driving for a rideshare company. If you are a licensed and insured driver with a clean, well-running car, you are eligible to become a driver. Rideshare drivers can make about $40k a year, but it all depends on when and where you work. Driving during irregular working hours — weekend nights, holidays, etc. — will help you earn more money, but you do have to make those social sacrifices to do so.
Another great way to make some extra cash is taking advantage of Americans’ love affairs with our dogs. About 43 million American households have a dog in them and those dogs need to be walked and watched. Sites such as Rover connect dog owners with dog walkers and pet sitters that provide these services in home. You can make up to $20 per half hour simply spending time with furry friends.
The gig economy gives people the flexibility to make money on their own schedule. However, with that flexibility comes the responsibilities of staying on top of your schedule and finances. Whether you are a highly skilled IT worker or just an animal lover who wants to make extra cash, there is an option for everyone in the gig economy.