Is the Trending “Gig Economy” Right for You?
The “gig economy” is taking over (according to various media reports), and more companies are relying on highly specialized experts to manage projects, analyze needs, and deliver short-term results.
Also called the “sharing economy “or the “on-demand economy”, the gig economy is a business model in which jobs are temporary and workers are often employed as independent contractors instead of full-time employees.
According to an Intuit report, the gig economy now includes 34% of the workforce, and is expected to reach 43% by 2020.
Business journalist Nancy Dahlberg says “experts differ on exactly how large the gig economy is –– these jobs don’t fit neatly into categories the government tracks –– as well as on the pluses and drawbacks for workers and the economy. But there is consensus that the gig economy is growing faster than traditional employment. And it is here to stay.”
Contract workers and contract work are both in high demand. The flexibility appeals to young, high-earning professionals in IT, and the lack of commitment appeals to employers who don’t want – or have the available resources – to hire full-time employees for short-term work.
But before you jump at the next “gig” that comes your way, consider all the factors: it’s not just about working hard and getting a paycheck for the next nine months. It’s about balance; specifically, work-life balance. Choosing when you want to work and how you work best, is not a simple choice. There are pros and cons to both contract assignments and full-time positions.
You should think carefully about such factors as total compensation (including benefits), marketability, stability, culture, flexibility and more. There are clear-cut differences between which career path to choose, and you owe it to yourself to do your due diligence.
Which direction is right for you in today’s economy: contract or full-time employment? For some expert guidance, download the MATRIX eBook: Wiring up for a Successful Career. Contract vs. Permanent Employment – A decision guide for Tech Pros. This guide lays out all the factors to consider when choosing a career, and how they look different in contract and full-time positions.