Stopwatch inside the letter "o" of the phrase "Time is Money".

How to Succeed and Prosper in the Gig Economy

Working lifestyles in the United States and around the world are changing drastically.   In some industries, the traditional employee/employer relationship is completely obsolete.   Today, we can witness the phenomenon of the Gig Economy.

Freelancers are the new reference point for businesses that need specialized talent, and there is growing opportunity for both young and highly experienced professionals to leverage their skills to generate sizeable incomes.

If you are struggling to gain traction in the Gig economy or if you simply want to know how you can perform better, then the following tips will help you to form the foundation of a successful career.

Understand That Your Talent is Now a Business

You may consider yourself a freelancer.  To put this term in better perspective, you can consider your skills and experience as a type of business.

Just like any well-run business, you will need to promote your skills and advertise whatever it is that you do best.   Whether you perform management consulting services, freelance journalism, retail training, or even business continuity consulting, you need to make your skills known to those who may consider you for work in the future.

When you consider your talent as a business entity, it will become easier to start thinking about self-promotion in the same way that a business would market its brand.

Networking

Networdivking is an essential way to market yourself in the Gig Economy. The social media platform LinkedIn is a network of highly engaged professionals, with key leadership professionals and even CEOs using it to discover talent daily.

Build your online profile, network with others in your field, and develop a web-presence that accentuates everything that you can offer to organizations.

You Need to Be Flexible

In an employee/employer relationship there are several factors that cause businesses to retain difficult staff members longer than they should.   In the Gig Economy, an organization won’t think twice about replacing you if they find you to be inflexible or difficult to work with.

Keep in mind that while you may have a method to your own work, you will need to adapt to the nuances of the organizations that you work with.   You will need to be flexible in terms of the time that you are available, as well as in the actual mechanics that are involved in delivering projects.

You don’t need to overexert yourself or go beyond your own core values to deliver what a company is asking for, but you should be able to step outside of your comfort zone at times for the benefit of a project.

Flexible freelancers are more likely to receive follow up work and recommendations.

Communicate What You Do in a Structured Manner

The Gig Economy has created a situation where freelancers work from home or even in coworking location offices to deliver professional services.   This makes it difficult for clients to have oversight of their projects.   Maintaining communication at a high level and in a routine and structured manner will ensure that your clients are always on the same page with your progress.   A communicative freelancer puts clients at ease as they are not sailing blindly while waiting for infrequent updates.

Keep Upskilling Yourself

Working in your own niche comes with the risk of stagnating in a professional sense.   Keep abreast of industry developments, attend conferences and seminars, and take short certificate courses if they are relevant to the work you do.   This will keep you sharp and highly competitive in the Gig Economy.

As a freelancer in the Gig Economy you are essentially your own boss.   Keep yourself motivated and maintain high professional standards, while making small adjustments to overcome the communications challenges of a decentralized workplace.