Have you ever found yourself wondering why you do it every day? Getting up before dawn to sit in traffic for two hours, yawning through meetings in which you discuss other meetings, and catching flak from a supervisor who acts like your second-grade teacher. Fortunately, advances in computer technology and a more agile workforce have made it possible to escape the eight-to-five grind, with all of its frustrations and limitations. Today, you can work from home or take on short-term assignments for any number of employers, working when you want and where you want. The gig economy isn’t for everybody, but if you prefer to maintain control over your circumstances, it’s a dream come true. Getting started can be difficult, but a little creativity and a willingness to hustle can put you on the path to a rewarding career and the ability to pursue the kind of work you want to do.
If you’re looking for a niche that’s best-suited to your abilities and experience, you can get started in the gig economy in ways that allow you to get used to the routine while you earn. There are websites and apps that can connect you with on-demand services like Uber, TaskRabbit (for odd jobs), and Shipt to Shop (grocery delivery). Be advised that some of these easy-entry, on-demand services won’t make you rich, and some charge fees that will cut into your earnings. On the other hand, they’re a good way to start the freelance ball rolling and allow you to pay the bills as you search for work that’s just the right fit for you.
The internet is rife with sites that connect you with employers who seek freelancers to perform a wide range of work. Upwork, Fiverr, and WorkMarket, for example, allow freelancers to post their services online, along with their experience and asking price. Such sites can be a great place to start for freelance writers, graphic artists, software designers, and others whose capabilities place them in high demand among many employers. They’re popular sites among human-resource personnel, who are often in a hurry to find qualified individuals to perform projects as needed.
If you’re not sure when or how to work your way into the gig economy, consider starting with seasonal work. Many companies add people at busy times of the year, such as the holiday season. You can step in as a delivery driver, stocker, shipper, or order-entry specialist for a local employer or for a national company like UPS or FedEx. It may not be the kind of work you had in mind for the long term, but they might put you in contact with individuals who might need someone with your particular skills. For example, a company that needs temporary help managing their networks or with computer security could turn into an ongoing opportunity, or one you can return to periodically.
Do what you enjoy
One of the great things about the gig economy is the ability to create your own gig, to find a way to work at something you truly enjoy. For example, if you love dogs and have long wished you could make a living as a dog walker, the gig economy is ideal for you. If you have the facilities and love caring for animals, you could consider starting a pet-sitting service. There’s a growing number of pet owners who want someone to care for and provide companionship for their pets during the week. You can start out by advertising your service through local pet shelters and launching a website with information about how you work and what you offer. Whatever you choose to do, take advantage of the new freedom that the gig economy offers by doing something you enjoy.
Courtesy of Pixabay