In a gig economy, the organization hiring freelancers need not invest in additional workspace, training costs or provident fund. Freelancers benefit in terms of independence, flexibility and work-life balance.
There are some negatives which undermine gig economy. For example, gig workers do not have the stability of a regular job and have to constantly market themselves for work. Organisations may have issues with communication, worker engagement, company values and compliance too.
As per a report by PayPal, one in every four freelancers is from India. As per a survey done in the United States by EY, one in two companies reported increasing their use of gig workers over the last five years.
So the gig economy is on a upward trend. But not everyone or every organization is suited to work on a freelance basis. How do you know if you are suited for a role in the gig economy as a contract worker or a freelancer?
- You Want More Than Just Security and Stability
As a regular employee, you usually have the benefits of a fixed salary, insurance and some form of contribution to retirement. Your life is stable and secure. If you are okay to lose that for flexibility, niche career etc., you can consider freelancing. If you are constantly looking for new jobs, new challenges or new roles, you might be a good fit for the gig economy.
- You Are Motivated By Achievement Alone
Do you like being surrounded by colleagues or look forward to company events? Are you more motivated when there is competition around or supervision? Do you look forward to the recognition you get in your company when you do a good job? In that case, you are better suited to being a regular employee in an organization. Freelancers usually work alone. They are motivated by good work or when their goals are achieved.
- You Are Disciplined
It sounds idyllic to work sitting on your bed and not having to adhere to a formal dress code. But it might not be effective. If you are a person who is self-disciplined, does not check out the latest social media posts every hour while working on your project, you are a good candidate for freelancing. If you can be your own boss, i.e. set up a schedule, assign tasks to yourself and set up deadlines, you can be an effective freelancer.
- You Can Deal With Uncertainty
As a freelancer or an independent contractor, you may be swamped with work in some months and there may be times when you are literally jobless. You will not have a guaranteed cashflow but are financially skilled or equipped to manage your monthly expenses and investments then freelancing is a good fit for you.
If you are a person who panics when there are no projects or like the office environment or are a person who needs some external motivation for doing your job, it might be better to stick to the usual day job. You can work on these traits and skills and rethink on joining the gig economy.
The gig economy can open up many opportunities for you. It might be a good idea to test waters by taking up some small projects while you are still at your day job and see how feasible it is for you.