We all understand how musicians go in search of “gigs” and that’s how we’ve heard that term too. But, with a changing global scenario where we are digitally connected, the gig economy, where people take up more than one job than working full time, is gradually becoming a part of our economy.
What we are witnessing now is the rise of the “Gig Economy” where many of us are looking for gigs rather than full-time roles. Generally, in a Gig Economy, people work on a skill or a need-based basis, doing two or more jobs in a year.
If you look at it positively, it not only allows you to experiment and expose yourself to multiple sectors/careers, it also allows you to get innovative and helps you dare to have an entrepreneurial dream. Of course, the naysayers will see it as a dystopian concept of eternal uncertainty.
The concept of “good job” is quietly diminishing as the gig economy is reshaping the way we work and earn. This economy of freelancers or self-employed people are not only creating a new digital channel for work but are also creating a new economy, altogether.
There is an underlying reason for all of this – Technology. Yes, technology is reshaping the way we communicate, connect and work. It has revolutionised the way we live and work. The advent of social media, platforms like Uber, AirBnb, Etsy, etc are offering jobs that are contributing to the Gig Economy. While technology enables us to have a greater control over our work, it also makes it possible for us to dream to: a) Have our own company, b) Have passion-driven job and c) Gives us the opportunity to do what we want to do.
The advantage of such an economy is the growing financial independence among the younger generation, diving them towards entrepreneurship and a demand for specialised skills. This has also led to the creation of talent clusters where small groups of people with similar or related skill-sets work together, on projects, share resources and remuneration. This is a win-win situation for companies who get their work done and for freelancers who are paid for their work.
On the other hand, the Gig Economy is enabling peer-to-peer business models. It is also loosening the grip of larger corporations in labour markets. Today, even major corporations are experimenting with lesser-known start-ups for services. Anyone with a talent or a skill can benefit out of the Gig Economy. You don’t have to be a hotelier to be on AirBnb or you don’t have to own a car to be an Uber Driver.
Therefore, this type of new-age economy blurs lines between personal and professional lives. However, it offers people autonomy, allows flexibility and eliminates employer-employee model of work.
There are downsides to this. There is no safety net. For example: No insurance, no retirement plan and no sick leave pay, etc. Such jobs also require personal discipline of individuals who take up such work.
So, the Gig Economy is all about how our perceptions of work have changed and how it has increased the risk-apettite of youngsters today, which is a good sign for the economy.