Guest Article by Dean Burgess, Excitepreneur.net
Are you interested in working in an environment where you set your own pace? Whether you’re craving a job with more freedom and flexibility or are daydreaming of becoming your own boss, the gig economy might be the perfect opportunity for you. The gig economy is a business arena for freelance work and short-term contracts called “gigs.” This exciting new market offers a broad range of opportunities for workers. Thanks to the Internet, people can even work remotely and find potential clients from anywhere in the world. From designing websites to providing dog-walking services to performing bookkeeping tasks, there are many ways to boost your income thanks to the thriving gig economy.
According to Forbes, the growth of the gig economy is a relatively recent phenomenon. Gig work has existed for a while, but it became a truly viable option just a few years ago. That’s because the price drop in smartphone and data packages at that time made Internet connectivity more accessible to a broader range of individuals. While the gig economy is driven in part by the millennial generation, that isn’t stopping older adults from also engaging in gigs and freelance jobs. These types of jobs provide flexible schedules that allow adults of all ages to participate in their children’s school activities and other commitments. In fact, some experts note that Baby Boomers are currently using gig employment as a way to supplement their incomes and add to their retirement savings.
Thinking about switching careers or picking up a side gig? Before diving into the gig economy, it’s important to take some time to plan. Participation in the gig economy isn’t for everyone. Rather than immediately jumping right in, start by taking some steps to ensure you’ll be successful.
Are You Cut Out For It?
It’s important to note that there are several personality traits of people who are successful at running their own businesses. A few of these traits include the willingness to take risks and step out of comfort zones. Are you willing to leave the security of a traditional workplace behind and roll with the ups and downs of being your own boss? Take an honest personal inventory to make sure the gig economy is a good fit for you.
Speaking of ups and downs, you’ll also need to be resilient and tenacious in order to survive those tough times in the gig economy. If you know you’re someone who handles changes well, you may be the perfect fit for these types of jobs. Other personality traits that come in handy include adaptability and problem-solving skills. If you’re someone who routinely thinks outside the box and helps your employer think of ideas for improvements, the gig economy can be a rewarding and fruitful arena for spreading your wings.
Setting Up a Home Office
First and foremost, you’ll need a space where you’ll actually perform the work. When you’re first starting a business, you may not have the overhead to afford office space or even coworking space. Another alternative might be to work from home, if possible. To set yourself up for success, take some time to create a quiet, distraction-free home office.
Manage your time by setting strict office hours and communicating your work schedule to your family, friends, and roommates. Make sure the space you choose for your working space is separated from the rest of the home to help avoid distractions. You should also consider investing in a dedicated business phone line (you can set up a low-cost business line for as little as $19.99 a month), which can be written off on your taxes as a business expense. You may also want to bring in a handyman or carpenter to design some custom-built furniture, including a desk, organizer for your cords, and shelving unit. Just be prepared to shell out $123 – $410 for these services in Fort Myers. By structuring your days and your home environment, it will become easier to meet client deadlines and manage your workload in a flexible way that works for you.
Taking the Leap
Ready to jump in? Even if you’ve done some soul-searching and determined the gig economy is right for you, taking the leap into the gig economy can seem daunting at first. Luckily, there are many avenues open to you for getting started and establishing yourself as a professional freelancer.
Whether you’re looking for a side hustle while keeping your day job or whether you’re looking to freelance full-time, opportunities are readily available online. Start with a quick search on traditional job-hunting websites or a gig-oriented platform to find your first gigs. Platforms like LinkedIn and Fiverr specialize in connecting workers with people who are hiring for specific services. There are even platforms for specific types of jobs, such as administrative workers, pet sitters, nannies, hospitality providers, health care workers, and many other specific niches.
One thing to note is that these gig platforms typically offer feedback from those who use the services. That means your clients will often be able to review you and rate your services, and you’ll often be able to leave them reviews as well. This brings transparency, validity, and trustworthiness to a growing business venture and helps you round up your first client reviews and testimonials.
The gig economy offers exciting opportunities for people wanting flexibility and freedom. To help ensure your future success, start by doing some soul-searching before committing to determine whether you’re a good fit for the work environment. If it’s a good match for you, the time is ripe to jump into the gig economy! You very well could thrive on the freedom and flexibility you’ll find in short-term, freelance work that can be done from anytime, anywhere in the world.