The global business landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. Companies seem to be downsizing everywhere we look, and economic news tends to be bleak.
Just this week Reuters reported that Australia is facing an unprecedentedly high unemployment rate and underutilization rate of 14%. For the latter, this rate shows unused work capacity. This isn't good!
Today’s worker spends lots of time worrying about downsizing. In fact, two studies confirmed that the top concern among employees was, yes you guessed it, job security.
Job security creates anxiety among workers, who often wonder about life after layoffs. But, we're here to tell you that there is hope. This isn't the end of the road.
The gig economy has emerged as a way for individuals to take control over their financial destiny. No longer do workers have to depend on one employer for their well-being. The traditional 9-5 workday is increasingly being replaced by an economy that is demand-driven.
Consider that there are over 50 million freelancers in America today. And, by 2020, it is estimated that 50% of our workforce will engage in freelance gig work in some capacity. That's incredible growth!
Thanks to advances in mobile technology and crowd-based marketplaces, Americans have secondary work options at their disposal should they fall victim to layoffs or cutbacks.
This has resulted in near limitless earning potential, based on how hard one is willing to work at it. Let us explain.
The Gig Economy Explained
Also referred to as the sharing economy, gig employment entails any freelancing where a worker is performing a job as an independent contractor. It is viewed as temporary employment, but workers are free to do jobs for as many businesses as they want.
You can be a 'Looker' at WeGoLook, freelancer on Upwork, and drive for Uber in the evenings, all at the same time. It's all good! No one will get jealous. The opportunities are endless, and the benefits of the gig economy are particularly evident in tough economic situations.
Down Economy, Recessions and Bad Job Markets
The gig economy took off amidst the backdrop of the global recession of 2008. This wasn't a coincidence.
Now, the notion that there was no work at this time is a bit misleading. While big businesses were shedding jobs left and right, the shift towards independent contractors took off in a big way. As soon as laid-off workers were able to get back on their feet, they found an abundance of opportunities available in gig employment.
Keep in mind the fact that over 50 million Americans currently freelance. Many have the recession to thank for this.
Gig employment allowed them to become their own boss, and quickly work enough gigs to make up for the loss of traditional income sources.
The gig economy has also become popular during times when the hours at a traditional job just are not available. Some individuals work in seasonal positions, for example, where their services are not needed for months at a time.
In years past, this meant scrambling for another temp job, being unemployed, or collecting social assistance. No more. Gig employment now enables workers to pick up jobs whenever they have downtime. Full or part-time, the choice is now the individuals, not the employers.
The work is there; you just need to reach out and grab it.
Being Fired Is Not the End
Being fired is understandably the cause of stress and anxiety. While it is still rarely a positive experience, it can be used as a springboard to something bigger and better.
Many people use gig employment as a way to stop the financial bleeding while looking for a new full-time job. In this sense, the gig economy can act as an income stop-gap.
If this stop-gap theory were a larger trend however, we would have seen gig work slowly drop following a spike post-2008 recession. This has certainly not been the case. People love gig work!
Gig employment can replace your income for a period of time. In many cases, the newfound freedom that comes with working as an independent contractor causes workers to stick with gig employment. Traditional work is often, figuratively, thrown out the window.
How the Gig Economy Can Help
The gig economy can help in many ways. If you find your current paycheck to be lagging behind your expenses, and you have some time on your hand, you can pick up the odd job. How? Here are just a few options:
- Drive for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft
- Become an on-demand verification expert with WeGoLook
- Host tourists on Airbnb
- Complete tasks on TaskRabbit
- Deliver stuff with Postmates or DoorDash
- Rent out your car on Turo
- Host neighborhood pets on DogVacay
And the list goes on.
If you have been laid-off and are having difficult finding a new employer, become your own boss in the gig economy. As you can see, the options are endless.
Many companies today, like WeGoLook, rely exclusively on a gig employment force. And what a force they are!
WeGoLook currently works with over 25,000 gig workers who conduct customized inspections and other tasks across North America.
That is great news for you. There is always hope when it comes to employment.
Do the sometimes nightmarish economic headlines make you nervous? Why not take control of your financial destiny and consider what the gig economy can do for you?
Finally, why wait until you need gig work? Many people take on side-gigs in the sharing economy while working full-time to test the waters. Plan ahead, see if gig employment is right for you now, before the tough economic times catch up.