The Gig Economy: Is this for You?
If you are a new graduate or just out of work, don't let false pride get between you and a new, different work experience. Don't put up a wall. Enter this new world of the gig economy and understand it.
Learn to Navigate the Gig Economy
The jobs are changing. Time to look into this new job world. Do not be caught by surprise when a pink slip is handed you. Wake up now to the changes and start learning. Where to start? Look at Uber.
Yes, Gigs are now The New Normal. The economy is changing and jobs are changing as well. Gone are those days of your parents working for one company all their lives and and being assured a small but comfortable pension.
The old social contract got nuked in 2008 and Guys, that model is over. It will not come back. Jobs are changing and it is time to look seriously at the new world of the floating specialist.
It looks like even students now are finding it hard to get summer jobs. If they do find one, it could just be one day a week, not enough to get some money for the school year. No more fretting, start understanding the new market. Time to find out how a brace of gigs can fill the bill.
Even better, if you have an expertise that the job market is looking for right now, this is your chance to earn so much more and have exciting opportunities to try out your skills in varied and challenging environments.
Flexible experts can demand great rates and we are not talking security squints in Afghanistan! As an example, as international standards in HR or environment or product quality are now enforced in several industries world wide, the ones who have expertise in these areas can go from contract to contract, choose the places where they want to work and choose the time as well.
The New Gig Economy: Specialists Reign
As specialists, see the new areas in which employers are finding it hard to retain skilled employees. They move easily from job to job. They have the skills and they are prized commodity.
As pensions and health insurance get squeezed, staying at the same old, same old job, year after year, just does not make sense. And, as long as they have marketable skills, employers who are in demand of these skills do not care if they see you jump from job to job. Core management frameworks are put in place and specialists are brought in on an as needed basis...the new Gig world.
In fact, employers win, too. Instead of getting a full time employee, they can advertise a gig position and if they are happy with the specialist, they can offer full time employment.
Employers can also try out if the skills sets they need are the ones they have advertised for. Sometimes, employers think they need such and such positions only to find out that the skills set they need is totally different. With new technologies and applications filling up the business world, skills needs can change dramatically. Given these new developments, it is to the employers' advantage to just get gig specialists with the skills set temporarily needed by the business.
Executive Gigs - Prepare yourself
The job world is changing indeed. Permanent jobs seem to be a phenomenon of the past. Robots will soon take the place of many jobs. In fact this is happening now. Time to prepare.
Many gig jobs now are highly professional
Many of us think that temp jobs are just low-end clerical jobs. That's ancient. They are not those anymore. Many temp jobs are highly professional ones. One of the top temp jobs are those in international finance. Businesses are going global and understanding the requirements in this area is a skill not many have at the moment.
There are thousands of consulting jobs in various areas that are for just 3 month or 6 or two years. And guess what? You can travel to countries you have only heard about.
Gig jobs will not only give you solid actual experience that you can add to your resume but if you have the right skills, you can even earn more than wages of full time employees.
Many highly paid jobs now are gigs. You do the work and when it is done, you move on. You may not enjoy the benefits of full time employment, but you have more freedom. You can do work only when you really have and want to and guess what? You can decide when to or where. And with whom.
Gig Jobs - The New Normal?
Many people now as normal as you and I flip to the Temp world to try out a new instrument in the orchestra of jobs. And those who have wrapped up the long term job and want to explore more than worm wholes on the golf course can have a whole new life in temp jobs. And many are doing this.
Full time jobs are no longer the norm. Even people who have jobs right now...but don't see a future, temp/part time is a world they explore. New technologies and applications have made this possible for many people.
If you want to earn more money or test out your skills in other areas, this is the way to go. You may find that your other skills not useful in your current job may just be the source of the millions you had been dreaming of. And you can get help. Many firms are now engaged in just finding temp jobs for people.
Why Go for Gigs?
Gigs give you meaningful employment while you are searching for a full time job. That is, of course, if full time jobs are what you want.
Unemployed right now? Go for gigs. They will resolve your concerns around employment gaps on your resume. Gaps in your work history often make employers suspicious and may therefore not consider you for the permanent job you hope to get. Chances are, after a few gigs, you will never seek full time employment.
Of course, you will gain work experience and you know that the more you have, the more your resume becomes valuable to future employers.
Gigs not only improve your skills but give you more contacts in the sector you want to be in or in another sector. They will still be valuable contacts for you.
From gigs, you can test the type of work environment you will enjoy in the work setting.
Chances are, if the employer is pleased with your work, you may be offered a full time position with the company. By working harder and smarter, you will have a chance to catch the company's attention as to how you can add value to their business. You will learn first hand what the company values in its employees and if you are successful in showing you have what it gets, you may find yourself with a full time career.
Gigs are more flexible. This will give you time to pursue other interests.
If you are new to the job market, you will learn about companies in your sector that are looking to fill positions. You will also know what this sector is looking for. If you are weak in it or lack the skills in their areas of demand, you can use some time to improve your skills.
Of course, gigs will give you the extra income you need.
Gigs and the New Graduates
So, what does a newbie graduate do? Sit out in your parents home thinking a job will find you? Get out...put your face in the market....be seen.
When you do this, you not only build up your experience but you also have a good view of the skills in demand in the area you want to be in. You build your network, start knowing some of the people who might become your mentors. You get to know the employers and what they demand from their employees.
Book knowledge is different from actual work experience. Actual experience builds up confidence and skills that book or classroom knowledge do not provide. Get out there and start the fun.
Gigs:Your Bridge to Full Time Employment
Gigs can also enhance your search for full time jobs. Recent data shows that 1 in every 3 of gig hires are offered full time work by the employers. The employers have observed you closely and will have ideas on how you can add value to their businesses. This is most true in areas of sought-after skills.
But when you have these sought after skills, you don't even have to apply for full time employment. You will get contracts you can hardly fill once they see that you are an expert in these areas. You can become a consultant in various projects all over the world.
Gigs for Companies
For many companies, gig jobs are reliable sources of tried and tested hires. Instead of offering full time job to one person, the company can offer temp jobs to several people in the skills they need and observe these people closely to see how they fit the business.
You, on your own, will find that you will be given a chance to use some recent equipment in the industry that most colleges and universities can only dream about. You will gain valuable access to the company's network and knowledge that sometimes elude professors who have not been in the business for some time or who have never actually been in the field.
You will have a chance to work with people who are experts in their field or who have years of experience in the business. You also have a achance to find out if the company is the one you would be interested to work in or if the area you have so far pursued is where you really want to be. Maybe, what you had was just an illusion once tested in the field of actual experience.
How to Get Gigs
There are various ways of getting gigs. Your network of family, friends and acquaintances are valuable. If this has not worked for you, go to staffing firms. There are a number of respectable ones and often, they don't charge for their services as the fees are covered by their client companies. And if they are good, they will have many and the best ones as well.
They are often the most knowledgeable of the skills sets that are sought after in the job market so starting with them will let you know how you can tailor your resume to emphasize certain skills. You can also get extra training in the skills most in demand.
Staffing agencies find qualified employees to fill temporary positions in businesses that use their services. Usually, companies that often require short term employees retain the services of these agencies.
Temporary workers usually sign up with a temp agency, undergo a screening and testing process, and provide resumes and cover letters. They are then matched with an available position and then offered the temporary position at the company.
Staffing agencies have information about jobs that are not advertised to the public. Working with a temporary agency can provide more job leads.
Not only that. Some of these temp agencies provide benefits to their temporary workers. They also offer training to maintain skilled temps. Some offer this at no cost.
Most let you create a profile that includes the types of jobs you are qualified for or interested in experiencing and this is a great way to find something that suits you most.
Consulting firms are always on the lookout for experts to add to their databases or when they bid for contracts. Submit your resume to some of these global or national consulting firms and network aggressively. Once you're in the loop, it is not that difficult to find new gigs.
For those of you who have gone through gigs, share some of your experiences. We can certainly learn from you.
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