Published on December 19th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Should You Join the 36% and Ditch the Nine to Five?
36% of Americans today have given up the traditional career path for a freelancing lifestyle. Should you join them?
In this post, we’ll give you a brief overview of the pros and cons of working in the gig economy.
What’s Different Today?
The conventional career path used to be simple. You’d work for the same company for most of your adult life, earn your pension, and retire. Today, careers follow a far less structured path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Baby Boomer had around 12.3 jobs before retirement.
Fifty years ago, this was undesirable and considered flaky. Today, having experience across several sectors in different roles is an asset because of our working environments’ dynamic nature.
Why Freelancing Instead of a Set Career Path?
Freelancing gives workers and businesses far more flexibility. The advance of technology has made it easy to work from anywhere in the world. Companies may draw on international talent pools, and workers have access to a wider variety of jobs.
As a result, the number of freelancers in America rose by 7% between 2014 and 2019.
The Benefits of Freelancing
The benefits include:
- Flexible hours: Being a gig worker often means setting your own hours. You’re able to optimize your working schedule around your peak productivity.
- Global job options: You’re no longer limited to your home geographical area. You may expand your horizons to cities or even countries with better opportunities. Several websites, such as Upwork or Fiverr, make it easy for freelancers to find work.
- Better job security: If you build a steady clientele, you assure your job security. Working for several customers dilutes the impact if one goes out of business. With a conventional career, if your company goes bankrupt, you must start all over again.
- Better work-life balance: You get to skip the daily commute and so have more free time to spend doing things you want to do. You’re also able to schedule errands during quiet periods, allowing you to save time with things such as shopping.
- Some protection against job loss due to AI: Your typical freelancer has a one-on-one relationship with their client. They have a broad range of experience and so are less likely to be replaced by AI.
- Fewer distractions: Working from home means that there are no distractions like office gossip or misdirected phone calls.
Source: Daniel Bosse from Unsplash
The Downside of Freelancing
Now to the disadvantages:
- No fixed income: Getting used to living without a set paycheck can be nerve-wracking. Some months are naturally better than others, and freelancers must make intelligent choices with their money.
- You must be self-disciplined: As a freelancer, you can sleep until noon if you like. As long as you get the work in, your client won’t mind. Starting the job, however, is difficult if you don’t have the discipline.
- It’s a solitary existence: You’ll typically work from home and so won’t have colleagues to chat with nearby.
Is the Gig Economy for You?
If you dream of kicking the nine-to-five life and have the self-discipline to sit down and work, the gig economy may be a dream come true. Instead of being limited by a set salary and hours, you will be able to maximize your time and earnings.
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