Chances are, even if you’re not offering up products or services within our ever-expanding gig economy, you’ve used it. The choices are endless. There’s Uber, Lyft, or Getaround for transportation; airbnb or VRBO for lodging; TaskRabbit for just about any job ever; Etsy for all things DIY and LiquidSpace for a conference room or work station. That’s not it, either. There’s plenty more. Participation in alterna-economies (think: sharing, barter, gigging or gift economy) is growing, even though the jury’s still out on the long-term benefits and lifespan of each. Fostering community and connection, spreading wealth, and engaging in fairness (which is why we at Wordsmithie stand by this fresh new approach) seem to be the key assets people gravitate towards here, instead of sheer, pure profit.
Rise of the Creative Class
Many creatives were early adopters of the gig economy – programmers and coders, writers and editors, graphic and instructional designers. The very nature of work in our new world order rendered the role of the independent contractor ubiquitous for many firms. Companies hire skilled temps to knock out projects and then lay in wait for the next one. The company may pay more upfront than they would an employee, but the contractor receives no benefits, no office space or equipment and has no long-term relationships to necessarily establish. Contractors are more in control of hours worked and projects selected, picking and choosing then best way to work and the work that best suits skills and availability. In essence, freelance contractors become entrepreneurs.
Has the gig economy truly fostered a smart way to conduct work? Has it created a giant pool of skilled entrepreneurs or a vast group of disenfranchised workers? Maybe both. Being your own boss appeals to many of us; having a regular go-to with long-term or tenure perks certainly makes others feel more secure. No matter how you prefer to conduct your business, in our rapidly shifting world of work, it’s mission critical to be nimble. (And, if you’ve got an extra room or set of wheels to offer up, you might just make some additional spending money while proving your flexibility.)
We’d love to hear success stories about how you operate in the gig economy. Are you a freelancer contracting with multiple clients? Are you a crafty entrepreneur selling artistic wares online? What about this way of working or managing your career works for you? Let us know by tweeting us at @sparkingbrands with the hashtag #gigsuccess!