While full-time, traditional jobs are still the norm, that is quickly changing: studies show that contract, part-time and multiple jobs are trending and are expected to be up to 40 percent of the jobs by 2020.
Until recently, going to college and finding a job were the main concerns for a young adult. Once they found employment, they were expecting to stay in the same sector (and usually the same profession) for the rest of their working lives.
With life expectancy levels going up, we also see an influx of seniors who want an “encore” career, an opportunity to use their time and skills in something different, usually more fulfilling than their previous traditional jobs could provide.
Welcome to the Gig Economy.
The gig economy is already affecting people in different ways: according to a McKinsey study in Europe, people participating in the gig economy may be free agents (30 percent), casual earners (40 percent), reluctant (14 percent) and financially strapped (16 percent).
There are pros and cons for both employers and employees:
For employees and job seekers:
- It allows you to focus on your priorities and make sound decisions around how you invest your time and energy.
- It provides the freedom to try new interests and careers as prototypes as opposed to staying attached to one career for life.
- It gives back to you control over how you manage your time and your finances and how you organize the work you do.
- It allows you to diversify, which builds career resilience in uncertain times.
- It opens the door for independence and meaningful work through social enterprises and start-ups.
- You work only when you need, giving you the freedom to pursue other projects such as more time with family, personal projects, learning, travelling or working on your own business.
For employers and small businesses owners:
- It saves money as companies only pay for the job done, and not for time spent when there is no real work.
- It allows them to select among the best based on skills as opposed to seniority.
- It provides flexibility to hire for small projects, tasks or consultations.
On the other hand, there are also cons for both:
- You need to stay competitive by updating your skills regularly and continuously networking
- Gigs are uncertain, and so are income and opportunities.
- Competition may be high for well-paid and tractive gigs.
- Uncertainty may lead to accepting projects or gigs with sub-standard compensation or working conditions.
For the employers:
- With a high turnout of employees, the quality of products, services and processes may be difficult to sustain.
- Good workers may be difficult to find for short-term projects unless there is high compensation.