Being your own boss, setting up your own hours, working from wherever you please – these are just some advantages of the so-called “gig economy.” Nowadays, a growing number of people are after this kind of convenience and flexibility, which explains why nearly 36% of the American labor force (almost 60 million people) comprises freelancers, independents, and short-term contractors.
Technology has certainly been a great enabler of this new work paradigm. So, why not ride the wave yourself? In this practical guide, we provide you with plenty of tips to get started and thrive in the modern gig economy.
What are you good at? What interests you? What have you always wanted to do? A great first step would be to answer these questions for yourself. The virtual economy abounds with work opportunities for those who’ve got the time, passion, and skills. So, whether you’re a polyglot, have a knack for graphic design, or were always interested in programming, explore your options, find your niche, and run with it!
Not in a literal sense, of course. Selling yourself entails promoting your skills and expertise to recruiters and prospective clients. Being able to showcase what you can do and the kind of work you’ve conducted in the past is the greatest publicity you can hope for. Quite honestly, the competition out there is ruthless, even for in-demand gigs like translation, marketing, or photography, which means you must find ways to set yourself apart.
One of the most crucial aspects for success as a freelancer pertains to how well you fare financially and how you manage your finances. Aside from budgeting and keeping your personal and work expenses separate, you’ll most certainly benefit from conducting periodic credit score checks; the experts at 3 Credit Scores recommend using an all-inclusive tool that lets you verify your score across different credit bureaus. Some online research should get you acquainted with a number of convenient options. Don’t forget to save for retirement, either!
Speaking of which, rather than leave your savings sitting idle in the bank, utilize that money to generate even more revenue. When it comes to making your savings fructify, once the money starts to come in, the surest way is to place it in a high-interest savings account. Now, if you’ve got experience in trading, you can invest in the stock market, ETFs, bonds, and other financial instruments. Remember, though, that the risks are high, so proceed with caution or seek help from a financial adviser.
Evidently, having one or multiple freelance gigs is not the same as working a 9-5. That being said, it requires just as much effort, regularity, and consistency. As such, a healthy, well-rounded routine will help you work smart, fulfill your monthly objectives, and strike a healthy work-life balance, despite the line being blurred in these kinds of settings.
The expression “time is money” has never rung more true. When you work on a freelance basis, the ability to manage your time well is the key that unlocks every door. Now, if you’re still figuring things out, take help from a time management app that will enable you to plan out your workdays and boost your productivity. Experiment with different timings and workloads until you find an arrangement that works for you and doesn’t burn you out.
The great thing about being a member of the gig economy is that you’re no longer bound to traditional offices. In that optic, make it a point to create yourself an optimal workspace at home. Invest in the tech hardware and software you need, a sturdy desk, a comfortable chair, office supplies, organizers, and add a cool interior plant. This should serve as a basis for you to put together a space that’s conducive to concentration, productivity, and good health.
Since you’re no longer bound by contracts and whatnot, nothing forces you to commit to just one type of freelance mission. Take the example of a recent college grad who can write, edit videos, speak 2 or 3 languages, and do voice-overs; they can very well take on different gigs to maximize their experience and earnings! With excellent time management skills, self-motivation, and drive, truly, the sky’s the limit.
Ultimately, everybody can find their place in the new gig economy. If you’re an independent, self-sufficient individual who doesn’t mind trading your job security for work ultimate flexibility, you can easily earn as much as you did in your regular job. The key is to capitalize on your skills, stay on top of your finances, establish a productive work routine, and a good deal of tenacity and perseverance. Combine these factors, and you’ll see the money rolling in no time!