How to navigate the gig economy?
The push for greater work-life balance coupled with technological advancements means that more and more people are leaving behind traditional nine-to-fives and going freelance – joining what’s been called the “gig economy”. Many Malaysians are tackling this shift head-on; in fact, according to Oxford Internet Institute’s Online Labour Index, close to seven in 10 Malaysians have expressed their interest in pursuing freelance jobs as their first career choice,contributing to the rise of the gig economy, especially for the creative jobs, writing and translation jobs, and tech industries.
But is the gig economy for you? Before throwing in the towel at your current job, consider the following:
Are you good at time management?
If you’re seeking a flexible schedule and the discretion to work around your personal schedule, the authority to turn down projects on a less-than-comfortable timeline or the exposure to diverse work experiences which, ultimately, improves your future employability, joining the gig economy sounds like a great option. But you have to be a self-starter and be great at managing your own schedule, ensuring that you deliver projects on time.
Are you good at self-promotion?
It can be tough to be a one-man show, especially when you’re first starting out. You do have to constantly search for that next project and you can’t be shy about promoting yourself and your skills via networking and requesting that your contacts refer you for jobs.
Are you good at client management?
Once you have clients that are sending you work, you have to make sure that you establish great connections with them in order to keep receiving work and for them to recommend you to their contacts. Be communicative, deliver work on time and if you encounter any issues or need a deadline extension, it’s better to let them know earlier rather than later.
If you answered yes to all of these, then embarking on a freelance career and joining the growing gig economy is likely for you. But if that all sounds daunting, there are always opportunities for you to pursue a full-time job.