4 short gig stories

In my daily work and free time a meet a lot of gig workers, and would therefore want to share four short gig stories:


The Anxious

I met this guy at the beach this summer, and he had just become a gig worker. I have to say that he was a bit anxious about leaving the a top job as a Finance manager. He had worked at several different larger companies, and have had several different high positions within finance.

Kiddos, a big workload and several other reasons led to a lighter burnout. To make a long story short, he quit his job and didn’t really have a second plan except for finding himself, and feel great again.

After a while, he was both restless and in need of money to pay the bills. So he entered the Gig economy. Yay, you might think. He felt the same way for a while. He registered his CV at a consultant company, and they manage to get his first gig pretty soon.

When I met him he had only been working in the gig economy for a couple of months. He both enjoyed it, and was anxious. Enjoyed it because he almost did nothing to find a well paid job. And anxious about several things:

  • Will the bank allow loans when not having a permanent job?
  • Will I find a new job when the contract is out?
  • Is the client right?
  • Will I enjoy working without my own colleagues?

I told him: as long as you’re good in what you’re doing you shouldn’t worry about finding another gig in the future. And he felt a bit confident when I told him that the workplace trends are going towards the gig economy.


The Calling

I have known this guy for a very long time, and he’s great! Very very goal oriented. This guy has been studying abroad a lot, in almost what could be considered as Ivy League schools/programs within Business administration, with a focus on Marketing strategies.

He only worked a few year in a graduate position before he entered his first top position as a Product manager. Product manager might not sound that fancy fancy, but this is a market leader, and one of the biggest companies within its niche. My first thought when he did it was WOW, you’re awesome! And this was before he turned 30 as well.

As with all jobs, he was in need of a new challenge after a while. So he got a new product manger job within a similar industry, and manage a lot of its marketing as well. He liked the job, but felt that there was something that was missing. A true challenge.

When I spoke to him about a year ago he told me he had quit his job. What?! What are you suppose to do now was my first reaction! He answered with a lot of confident: “I’m taking this Web developer boot camp where we have to learn how to code in a few weeks. I’ve always wanted to learn how to code, and now was the time. I felt a calling”.

Can you imagine? Just leaving a nice job just like that, and follow your dream?! Firstly he helped friends and family with simple some simple projects just to build his portfolio. Secondly, he landed his own web project client after a while.

Now he’s very confident and really enjoys his daily work. He doesn’t regret his career swith at all. True inspiration on how we all should prepare our thinking for future of work, and adapt and learn new stuff. Did I mention that I have slowly enrolled a Web developer boot camp from Udemy?


Never again!

I ran into a former colleague today at my clients office, and we had a short chat about our new jobs etc. Back in the days he used to be a low level programmer within embedded systems, and I know that this guy rocks when it comes to code. Now he felt like he was home with really challenging tasks etc.

Since he knows what I’m doing and I know about his past as a gig worker, we talked a bit about the gig economy, and the demand for his skills in this area. So I asked him: Are you interested in going back as a consultant again, and running your own business again?

A short reply: NO, not at all. I don’t want to feel isolated. I want to be part of something, and feel an ownership of what I’m doing. So NO. Never again. Unless I have to….

Great insights. Why change a winning concept when you’re happy and satisfied?


I’m my own boss now

This story is the other way around than the previous one. A Project Manager I met at a lunch meeting.  This guy has a lot of energy, and I can see why he’s successful. He briefly told me his story.

He used to be employed by a consultant firm, where his consultant managers find his new assignments (both long and short ones). Of course, not all assignments can therefore be challenging and fun. The focus of course for the consultant manager is to decrease the time having a consultant on the “bench”. He used to be fine with this setup.

What happened next was that the company went through a major re-organization. The smaller firm he was used to had in a way lost his sole. And now the owners where focusing (at least that his feeling) on reducing costs and increase their margins. The new managers didn’t have the time to focus on getting to know him, since their main interest was on findin g new assignments. After a few really boring tasks, and bad salary reviews, he took the decision to become his own boss, and join the Gig economy with no hesitation.

He knew he would succeed, both due to his skills and his former network. He could find his first client really fast, and really enjoyed this gig. All good comes to an end, and he had to find a new gig since the contract expired.

His contract at his first client expired on a Friday, and the next Monday he had a new gig and his second client. Good job. During this time I met him. Of course I had to ask, aren’t you missing your old employment?

NO! Now I can choose wherever, whenever, and when I want to do what I like to do (the gig economy dream). If I want to go on holiday for let’s say 10 weeks per year, I´ll do it and no-one can do anything about it. Of course I have to make sure that the project is still running without me, and that I save enough money so I can pay my bills when I don’t work that much. For me the gig economy is the true definition of work-life balance. I’ve always been eager to learn new stuff, and this I still have to do to stay relevant. And you know what, I like it!


Thanks for getting to know you guys. True inspirations.

Which one of these for gig personas are you? No matter if your story is different or not, please share it.

3 trends in the Gig economy 1st half of 2018

Even before I started this blog, I’ve tried to understand and learn more about the Gig economy, which of course takes a lot of time when reading a lot of different articles. My favorite app for summarizing “all about” the Gig economy/Future of Work etc is Flipboard. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the trends I have identified in the first half of 2018.

I have identified three trends within the Gig economy during 2018 so far, both from what I’ve read and also from own experiences in my daily job. The trends which I’ve identified:

  • Lawsuits
  • Remote work
  • Is the Gig economy a hype?

I think the video below provides you with a good summary of all the pros n’ cons of the whole concept of the Gig economy.

 

Lawsuits

Uber, Lyft, Amazon, and Pimlico Plumbers are just some of all of the big headlines in the Gig economy lawsuits . There has also been debates about the lack of safety nets in this way of working, which in some ways are brought up in the lawsuits.

The way some of these companies are working with their gig workers, is almost as if they were employed, hence the lawsuits. I guess that many gig workers pursue the gig career just for being its own boss, and setting your own schedule. In those cases is it totally different. They are forced to wear company branded apparels, and/or branded transportation, and also to have a fixed schedule to work from.

Except for the “hiring” contract, are you considered to be a gig worker then? You need to follow the employees code of work but doesn’t have the rights for overtime pay, minimum wage, insurance etc. Who’s paying for accidents when a gig workers is driving a branded car (the firm or the gig worker?)? That’s mainly what the lawsuits has been all about (if you want more info Google: Lawsuits gig economy).

The Californian Supreme court ruled that:

The court ruled that employers must treat workers who do work related to a company’s “usual course of business” as full-fledged employees. For example, if a store hires a plumber to fix a sink, that plumber wouldn’t need to be considered an employee because the store isn’t in the plumbing business. But if a clothing company paid someone to sew clothes at home, then that person should be considered an employee, entitled to minimum wage, breaks, and other benefits of employment.

We’ll see who’s winning in the long run, hopefully all the gig workers. But we can all agree that to avoid such things as lawsuits, new reforms must me implemented for this type of work.

Remote work

Maybe this isn’t a trend that affects the surrounding that much, since a lot of companies nowadays outsource their entire functions to other countries. But the way I see it, there has been a bit of a trend from the gig worker side:

I know my value, I don’t need to move to get a gig! If the client wants me, I work from home.

Work-life balance, traffic jams or don’t want to relocate with whole family etc, is the three main arguments. They know as stated above, with the right technical skill work will come anyway.

So maybe we should embrace the fact that if competence are needed, the gig worker solve the problem from anywhere? Trust, remote leadership, and the right technical platforms should solve the issues right?

Is the Gig economy a hype?

Early in June there was a big debate whether the Gig economy increases or decreases. Is it a HYPE or not? The reason for this was that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report on Contingent and Alternative Work. The report showed that there was a decrease from 2005 until 2017 within the Gig economy, hence questioning all other reports/trends pointing to the opposite.

But to be honest, the results were a bit misleading. You get the kind of answers you want when you performing a survey like this. If you want 1+1=3 that’s possible…My comments to the results:

  • Data is one year old when presented
  • It only counted all the gig workers that gig as a primary job, not side hustlers (Uber, Airbnb etc
  • Or the employed consultants that actually are gig workers since they do work on contract basis

Have a look yourself on the table below to see some results from the report.

c4e52f88-4de6-47e6-9d30-b256bdaa608e-original.png

I really believe that the whole gig economy is booming with all the different apps/platforms where you can find a gig nowadays, But I guess it’s mainly the side hustling that grows. If we should truts all the trends that business soon will be automated then gig working as a primary job will increase to. You just need to find the gap in the market where you really can make some difference.

Conslusion

To summarize all of the three trends, the society needs to adapt to meet the future of work. And yes, the gig economy is growing. Just hang in there!

Have you identified other trends? Or are you as a gig worker affected by any of these three? Share your story to inspire other gig workers.

Having the same gig since -92

OK, so let’s start by asking, are you a Gig worker because you can choose:

  • When
  • How
  • Where
  • and with Whom you are working with?

Some sort of flexibility is crucial for your own “survival” right?

This is something that fascinates me, having the same gig since -92! How do you stay motivated, up to speed etc? Maybe is it because I’m a millennial and are not that “loyal” to my employees (or maybe it is since I started the first grade in -92). But my question is of course, why would you like to have the same gig for such a long time (or the same job/tasks for that matter).

I asked why not employ her? From time to time head count was an issue, and sometimes she didn’t wanted to. For me this goes against the whole philosophy about being contracted as a consultant/freelancer. Isn’t the whole point of going from gig to gig? As I wrote earlier, I’m fascinated 🙂

Most of the Gig workers are looking for long term gigs. Long term in this sense is “only” 12 month. Then they need to move away to be able to learn even more, and get new knowledge and Gigs. Some doesn’t want contracts for more than 6 month at a time. All of those gigs falls under the category Professional services, and are of course MUCH longer than the typical Uber gig.

What has happened in with the technology since 92? Have a look here. 

What do you prefer, long- or short term gigs? What’s your longest gig? Share your story.

 

The World of Work is changing

Yes, the world of work is truly changing, and in an accelerating pace!

Only in the U.S. the gig economy  predicts to rise from 15.5 million people in 2015, to 60 millon people (43% of the US Workforce!) in 2020 (Nasdaq). If you ask me, that’s a large increase in just five years. And this is only in the U.S. This is happening all over the world (in different paces of course).

“Projections show that by 2020 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers” 

According to the World Economic Forum, this rapid change is maninly due to four major trends:

  1. Shifting demographics, dynamic workforces
  2. The rise of the indivual choice
  3. The technological revolution
  4. Client sophistication and the dawn of data

Since there is those major changes going on I would like to share Sara Hinawi’s TedTalk with you: “How to succed in the gig economy”. Hopefully it will help you in your future success in the gig economy.