The Gig Economy and YOU!

15 December 2016, Comments Comments Off on The Gig Economy and YOU!

What's a Gig?

A Gig is work that is temporary, not full time, of many types, and can require multiple skills. Giggers are self-employed. They do not receive employer-paid benefits such as health insurance. Uber drivers are often used as examples of the new Gig Economy, along with eBay sellers, Airbnb hosts, and bloggers. Contributors to the Gig Economy are self-employed workers.

I am a Gig worker - a consultant - and I take on multiple clients and projects including blogging, grant-writing, fundraising, and events management. I love it and I encourage you to try it if you want the opportunity for variety, working with different people, being your own boss, eliminating a terrible commute, or learning new things. If you are a Baby Boomer, Gig work may be your best chance for a sustainable income.

Writing my own blog began my gig career. I submitted a blog to an airline magazine. They accepted it and published several more. That led to writing for a consumer product's user website. Later, I wrote more consumer blogs and turned to political work also writing blogs. It was increasingly more lucrative and more fun.

The Gig Economy is the future. Traditional offices are disappearing along with pensions, regular paychecks and health care paid by the employer. People are working from home, working more efficiently and may work for several different companies in the same week.

For employers, using contractors or "giggers" is almost always less expensive. They eliminate overhead, may not have to provide workspace, and can shop around for the right person for each project.

Giggers may have the flexibility to work anywhere, when it suits them, and have multiple clients and bosses. Gigs turn the skills and passions that you have into income. If you have always loved to sew, there is a way to make money sewing for others or starting an online business making fancy doll dresses.

The hardest part about gig work is the need to always know what your next gig will be. Much like playing pinball, the game can't continue unless you have a ball in the chute to replace the one in play that you will eventually lose.

The BoomerWorks "Boomer Boot Camp" began recently. Participants have been unemployed for at least a year, are at least 55 years old and open to Gig work instead of traditional full time employment. They are savvy and skilled with lobbying, engineering, sales, meeting planning, and international relations among their many skills. Their initial fears of Gig work included lacking confidence, worry about stability of income, the cost of self-funded healthcare, needing structure and camaraderie, and not knowing where to start.

While all of these are very real fears, many are not unique to Gig work and all can be overcome. Our workshop participants work together to overcome the fear of the unknown, realize their passions and get started in doing work that they love.

If you live in the Washington, DC area, or can use Skype, and would like to participate in a future Boomer Boot Camp, please let us know!
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