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The gig economy is all the rage these days, and an increasing number of individuals are becoming a part of it. To some, it may seem to be a brand-new term, but in fact, it isn’t. Earlier, it was known as the freelance economy, side gigs, agile workforce, or even part-time work, until technology brought the idea of on-demand services to our phones.
When I quit my job after a long stint in the corporate world, I tried my hands at freelancing for nearly two years. It was a great learning experience and exposed me to the challenges faced by an independent working professional, of which a few to name are – an irregular flow of assignments, disproportionate time spent in business development, payment issues, and managing time effectively. A favorite topic of discussion was how people in the western world manage to work for a few months and then take vacations and why we are not able to do the same. That is where the idea of Noble House took shape, to help people who wanted to be freelancers and take away the challenges so they could focus on delivering good work and having what we call ‘Good work and Good life’. At present, Noble House offers a rich network of about 13k freelancers from a variety of industries. These include people from 11 different domain areas and across experience bands.
Job flexibility is the primary element behind the gig economy’s continued growth. The fact that it helps both individuals and businesses is also responsible for its growing popularity. Moreover, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, it forced the corporate sector to shift from working full-time at the office to working from home.
For people in their final semesters and who are on the verge of kickstarting their career journey, the gig economy is a way to gain flexibility and a good work-life quality. Furthermore, you can work on multiple gigs, make decent money, and follow your passion as well.
As an entrepreneur and freelancer myself, I would suggest you follow these five simple tips to take part, and thrive, in the gig economy:
Establish and Follow Routines: Routines do not necessarily mean drab bumbledom. Every successful freelancer follows an arrangement as it helps them focus better and unleash their maximum potential. Keeping a schedule, following to-do lists, starting the day with the highest priority task, or getting on a client’s call first thing are all examples of establishing routines as an independent working professional.
Build Your Network: Networking is essential for taking advantage of the most lucrative freelancing opportunities and promoting your career from the start. Both traditional networking and connecting with people online can create wonders for your freelancing career. Identify your target audience based on your specializations and expertise and find effective ways to connect and collaborate with them.
Social Media Presence: It’s a world of digitalization and social media out there – create a profile that highlights your skills and talk about your strengths. Promote these on social media and share your opinions/viewpoints on trending discussions. Social media is a good place for finding and connecting with potential employers. You can also observe and learn from the actions of other freelancers with similar backgrounds and talents.
Join Freelance Platforms: The easiest and most accessible way to thrive in the gig economy is to shake hands with online platforms offering freelance opportunities. Create an online portfolio on these websites and apply for projects matching your skills and financial expectations. Noble House is one such place where you could start your freelancing career and prosper in the gig economy.
Build Your Brand: As a freelancer, you are no longer an individual but rather the sole owner of a brand – a content developer, graphic designer, marketer, and many other things. From building your profile from scratch to delivering the highest quality work, you have to take care of everything. Create market value for yourself by positioning yourself as a brand.
As remote working becomes more fitting and rewarding, the count of freelancers is likely to grow in the near future. Considering that, freelancing still has some way to go before it is as stable as a traditional 9-to-5 job.
Getting to know your way around the gig economy would come with its own set of challenges. However, just like anything else, you can figure out what works best for you with time and the right efforts.
Go ahead, be your own master and follow your passions!
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead July 2021 issue.