Six ways to thrive in the Gig Economy

uber-fine-jpeg-0962f

Critics see the Gig Economy as yet another way to hollow out the American middle class. Instead of working stable jobs with predictable paychecks, gig workers frenetically toggle between modestly paid assignments as Uber drivers, TaskRabbit gophers and Airbnb landlords.

In her new book The Gig Economy, author Diane Mulcahy doesn’t necessarily disagree with the dystopian vision of the post-Uber labor economy. But she also finds a bright side, at least for skilled workers.

Whether the Gig Economy is good or bad for you, its arrival is inevitable, she argues. Here are six ways to cope:

  1. Forget job security. Long careers with the same employer are fast becoming a thing of the past. Mulcahy suggests just getting over it, accepting the new reality and adapting to it.
  2. Build your skills. Degrees and tenure no longer matter as much as skills. Mulcahy suggests bolstering your resume by earning professional certifications. “The impact of the Gig Economy on workers depends on which type of worker you are,” Mulcahy writes. “The Gig Economy is an economy of skills, and skilled workers are the winners who take all.”
  3. Diversify. Instead of job security, Gig Economy workers will strive to build “income security” — which will be a challenge as you move from one temporary gig to another. Mulcahy suggests using such Gig Economy stalwarts as Airbnb and Uber to smooth out your income during slow patches. Mulcahy herself has diversified by combining gigs as a writer, college professor and venture capitalist.
  4. Make a financial plan. In the Gig Economy, you won’t get a predictable paycheck or a pension. So it’s up to you to figure out how to save for retirement and other expenses.
  5. Get used to hustling. “We are now part of the ‘hustling class,’ always looking for work, evaluating and updating our skills and value, and staying aware of potential future opportunities,” Mulcahy writes.
  6. Be cautious about student loans. “The college degree that used to land us in a well-paying, full-time corporate job can also terminate in a post-graduate life of debt, living in our parents’ homes in our old bedrooms,” Mulcahy writes.

Reader Comments 0

0 comments