If you consider yourself someone who’s in touch with the job market or who simply does a lot of poking around on the Internet, chances are you’ve come across the term gig economy. While there isn’t an official definition for it as of yet, we can help de-fuzz some of the edges around this relatively new (and exciting!) concept.
What is a gig economy?
Freelancing is something you’ve probably heard of, if not personally dabbled in, before. The gig economy basically comprises of freelancing, but in a more ‘big picture’ way. Changes in industry practices have seen an increase in demand for freelancers and independent contractors, resulting in a surge of potential suppliers. The occurrence of this demand and supply system gives rise to an economy for full-time freelancing.
Why the shift?
The gist of it is this: the millennial generation generally seeks a largely different set of criteria when it comes to employment compared to the past generations. These criteria encapsulate a changing attitude towards work – what it is and what it means or should mean for the average young adult in this day and age.
The major ways in which the gig economy departs from traditional work reflect this change. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things gigs can offer in comparison to a regular day job:
One of the main ways the gig economy sets itself apart from 9-to-5 jobs is by, well, removing the 9-to-5 bit. Gigs have no fixed schedule and also normally go by an ‘as and when’ basis, giving freelancers exceptional control over their schedules and jobs.
The gig economy opens up new possibilities for freelancers to dip their toe into different types of jobs and industries. This degree of career exploration is difficult to achieve with traditional employment, which typically involves a fixed job scope.
Arguably, traditional employment can also involve an area of passion. However, freelancing allows for the pursuit of several passions simultaneously if one so wishes.
Apart from a generational shift in the workforce, changes are also coming from within industries themselves. From an employer’s perspective, the concept of having an expanding pool of freelancing talent works in their favour, too. It allows them to hire and put together the best team for a specific project or a temporary job, a degree of flexibility traditional work does not have the luxury of providing.
What’s the adoption rate like?
In the U.S., the gig economy, also know as the freedom economy, is already regarded as a viable source of income.
The rest of the world, namely parts of Europe and Asia, isn’t too far behind, too. Here are some statistics to show how the rest of the world fares in comparison to the U.S. Some of them may just surprise you!
Conclusion: Should you quit your day job to freelance?
We admit, the whole gig economy deal does sound pretty sweet. But wait, don’t throw in the towel on your day job just yet! As with everything else under the sun, full-time freelancing isn’t exempt from having its own unique setbacks.
We’ve rounded up the list of some of the main pros and cons for both gigs and traditional work below:
Basically, the jury is still out on this one – it’s simply too personal a choice for us to give you a black-and-white answer.
Like pursuing any other commitment, a number of factors do have to be carefully considered. These can cover external factors like Malaysia’s job market conditions and its economy, to internal factors like your professional skills and personal preferences in relation to work. If you’re planning to take the plunge and go for the gigs, we recommend doing all the research you possibly can and to carefully compare the best options available to you.
Whatever your final decision may be, we wish you the beary best!
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