Gigging in the New Economy – The Good and Bad
Once the realm of aspiring actresses juggling late night server jobs and babysitting gigs to support the pursuit of their dream, freelancing, or “gigging” as it’s now called, has become the trend for graduating college seniors looking to get a foothold in the New Economy.
According to the Associated Press, in 2011 one out of every two college graduates under the age of 25 was either jobless or underemployed. What’s more, a recent Rasmussen poll found 89% of adults believe it will be difficult for new grads to find a job in this economy.
In an effort to adapt to these changing times Millennials have been turning to gigging as an alternative to pursuing traditional full-time careers. In support of this trend a recent Elance survey found that 83% of Millennials indicated freelancing/gigging as the cornerstone of their career strategy and 42% actually prefer freelancing to traditional full-time employment.
The Case for Gigging
- Controlling Your Destiny – If you are an independent minded person and feel the need to control your own destiny, gigging may be the way to go. According to Elance 90% of those polled indicated that control over their schedule was at least somewhat important.
- Earning Potential – For new grads out there starting salaries are on the decline. If you play your cards right gigging can afford young entrants into the workforce the opportunity to hustle and make decent money. For those who are more entrepreneurially minded, what starts out as gigging could turn into a lasting business.
Why Gigging isn’t for Everyone!
- Unpredictability – Landing gigs won’t be easy and you won’t be able to predict when gigs are going to come your way. From a sustainability perspective, gigs are typically short-term, which means that you’ll often find yourself out hunting for the next gig even before your current one is finished.
- Wearing Multiple Hats – Gigging means you are in the business of YOU! This means that you will have to be your own salesman, marketer, and negotiator. Being in business for yourself is about walking a tightrope and balancing a lot of roles. Wearing multiple hats isn’t for everyone.
- Financial Stability – It’s tough to beat the feeling of a regular paycheck! When it comes to the gigging life nothing is ever guaranteed and getting paid on-time can be an uphill battle.
The New Economy is no longer about chasing opportunities it’s about creating opportunities. We have entered into an age of career entrepreneurialism where modern careers are going to be more “gig” focused than ever before. Gigging is really a modern form of entrepreneurialism. As mentioned in a previous Jobacle blog, entrepreneurialism isn’t always intuitive, but it does require a different way of thinking about your career. If you want to gig your way onto this market you are going to have to take charge and create a “you plan” designed by you, for you!
Guest Author: Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. As a career and workplace expert Dr. Woody has appeared on LIVE w/ Regis & Kelly, FOX & Friends, CNN International, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Dr. Steve, Daytime, and The Better Show.