Nowadays, a lot more people are beginning to engage in short-term independent employment known as the ‘gig economy’. This includes freelancers, contract workers, and those working in the sharing economy (e.g., e-hailing, homestay owners). In fact, it is estimated that a quarter of the Malaysian workforce today consists of gig workers, and the stat is expected to rise even higher due to remote working ✍🏼.
Being a gig worker gives one the flexibility and ability to be ‘their own boss’, but it still can be difficult to not have a regular paycheck every month. So the question now is, what do we need to do to survive the gig economy?
Have a motivation 💡
Whether it’s da moolah, freedom, personal development, or wanting more family time, having a strong motivation is crucial for gig workers. It’s normal for humans to be all excited when we’re starting something new, then we start stalling when we hit a slump. Having a sense of purpose allows you to look back at the reason you started your gig journey. That way, you’re less likely to throw the towel when things get rocky. #staystrong
Be persevered 💪🏼
For freelancers and temporary workers, before the jobs come to you, you’ll most probably need to work your bum off to build your portfolio first. This will take time, and you might not get the results (i.e., work offers) you’re expecting right off the bat. If you’re a rider, you’ll be battling rain, the scorching heat, and annoying guard dogs. Your work also puts you at risk of getting into an accident or being robbed.
When faced with these challenges, it’s hard not to feel beaten down physically and mentally, especially when you know you’ve put your utmost effort into your work. Whenever you’re in this situation, perseverance is the key. Take a short break, talk to those close to you, then pick yourself up again. 🏋🏻♂️
Establish some routines 📓
Although some people might have run away from corporate jobs due to their mundane routines, having a daily structure can benefit a gig worker. It is much easier to review what you have accomplished that day when you have a regular routine. It can be as simple as making sure that you showered every day, spending three hours in the morning drafting your write-up, or making deliveries in the afternoon.
In fact, studies have shown athletes, artists, and office workers alike found that routines help them improve their performance and focus at work. When routines are incorporated in both work and personal life, it can give people a sense of control and order in times of uncertainty.
Develop your interpersonal skills 🎙
Whether you’re creating an OnlyFans content or delivering food for your customers, communicating well with others is essential for gig workers. Words of mouth, recommendations, and ratings drive the gig economy, so you must be able to communicate with your clients and listen to their feedback. When the clients are happy with your work and treatment, they’ll come back for more! 🌟
Know your worth 🤑
You know what sucks? When you’ve spent the whole day working only to realise that you were lowballed by your client. Prior to setting a charge for your services, do research on the market price first because charging too low is impractical. You won’t just waste your time and energy, you’ll also attract more fussy clients 😳. You also gotta be careful of charging too high because that would discourage your clients from taking up your services.
Don’t think, be confident that you are!
Understand your capacity 😪
Sometimes it can be tempting to grab all the opportunities when you receive multiple project offers at a time. However, you’ll need to be very good with your time management to pull this off. You can’t tell Client A that you can’t attend to their request because you’re busy with Client B. Most of them won’t really care. After all, if they are paying you to solve their problems, they expect solutions.
Knowing your limit doesn’t just give you less headache 🥴; you’re more likely to produce better quality work as well.
Starting a gig journey can be challenging, particularly for fresh graduates who are in direct competition with those retrenched due to the pandemic. The current unemployment rate of 4.7% (August 2020) certainly doesn’t help either. However, with the right outlook and skills, it’s not impossible to thrive in the gig economy.
What’s your biggest struggle being a gig worker? Share with us here!