I recently came across the role of a ‘gig worker’ and how it is one of the new roles for 2016 / 2107. It got me to think of the term ‘gig worker’ as a phenomena and how cool it would be to be called a Project Gig Worker. So what does it mean you might ask? Economists and business commentators believe that the economy is moving from a world of corporations to a world of “pop-up” businesses. Further, they point out that these pop-up businesses are powered by what’s becoming known as “gig workers” which is naturally a term borrowed from the music industry, where musicians move from job to job (gig), employed for a particular performance or a defined time, with little or any connection to the business other that what they are there to do.
Does this sound familiar? Of course it does as the concept has been around for years but it has been gaining traction over the past couple of years with the advent of the agile organisation. As the attention is been placed on organisations to the change from large corporations to smaller, more agile businesses.
A Gig Worker is more of a Freelancer and there are many different ideas and opinions about what Gig workers are or what they do. You have freelancers, Gig Workers, entrepreneurs, consultants, contract workers, independent workers, and so on. So how can you make yourself to be a successful Gig Worker? After 14 years as a freelancer, here are some of my secrets to becoming and remaining a successful Gig Worker:
- Keep Your Skills Sharp: – Even if you’ve been doing it for years, get out there and invest in your skills and stay tuned for new ideas and ways of thinking
- Network until you are sick of it: – Get your name out there and do not rely on that one contract or job. Start your network by attending conferences, connecting with industry leaders on social media, and joining established communities.
- Build Your Portfolio of Clients and Organisation: – It is very easy to relax with one client and take your foot off the pedal. Whether you’ve been in the industry for a year or a decade, you should be adding to your personal portfolio of clients and contacts from the moment you walk into a new gig, and should continue until you walk out the door to the next gig.
- Set Remote Work Hours: – Gig Workers inevitably spend long periods of time working remotely. It is part and parcel of the job, and remote work has its own challenges. Set clear, consistent working hours from the get-go to save yourself from stressful, late-night sessions.
- Keep Communications Clear: – Good communication is the best tool a Project Gig Worker has. Making it clear and concise and you will always be successful
- Be of Value to Others and Not Yourself: – The only way to understand what to deliver is to have a clear grasp of the client values. Always deliver on these values and constantly align to them. Don’t be rude and think you know it all.
While the Gig Worker classification has yet to become a mainstream concept, there clearly is movement in that direction. Organisation especially those in on-demand businesses, should watch carefully to see where this idea goes, and whether it is picked up or not as a job classification.