Despite businesses reopening and confidence in new vaccines, plenty of doubts still exist about the state of the economy. Finding long-term employment in today’s job market is harder than ever and you may have to turn to the gig economy for income.
This isn’t new to millions of Americans, as a report from before the pandemic reveals that 36 percent of all workers in the United States were employed in the gig economy. However, if you weren’t a part of the gig economy before, it can be pretty challenging to make a steady income if you don’t know the ropes.
Here are six essential tips if you want to succeed in the gig economy.
- Get Insured
One downside of working in the gig economy is that there are very few companies and services that will offer you reliable health insurance. If you work as a freelancer, you won’t have any insurance at all outside of what you get for yourself. It’s essential that you find the right type of insurance for you before you begin working in the gig market. Insurance providers like Insular Life, Anthem, and Centene have a variety of health plans you should consider selecting. Accident and car insurance are also essential if your job runs the risk of damaging your car or your well-being.
2. Consider Your Assets
Before you select a gig, you must do a thorough accounting of all the assets you can use to help with your new job. If you are planning to join a ride-sharing app, assess if your car is in top condition and that if you have the proper tools to maintain it. If you are planning on working from home, make sure you have a strong internet connection and that all your digital devices are up to speed. Assessing your assets will be crucial in determining if you need to purchase any other items before you can start a gig.
3. Stay Organized
One of the biggest hurdles to successfully joining the gig economy is staying organized. Since you will effectively be employing yourself, you have to be on top of all the things employers usually take care of such as filing your taxes, paying fees, and similar minutiae. Unless you improve your organizational skills, you can get into a lot of trouble. You can miss paying your taxes, lose vital paperwork or even miss out on great perks because of a lack of organizational skills. Remember to keep all your files neatly arranged and to make sure to take copious notes on your income.
4. Whip Up a Calendar
When you join the gig economy, you may find that you have to take more than one job to make sufficient income. Even with just one job, you can have a hard time keeping your days as effective scheduled as possible. The key to keeping your schedule as tightly managed as possible is by making a detailed calendar. Plan your days well in advance, divvying up your days and nights as efficiently as you can. This will be instrumental if you have to balance family, a second gig, and your personal life.
5. Build Connections
Gigs are transitory at best, and even if you find a long-term freelancing opportunity, you will need to build connections if you want to survive for long. Vital connections in the gig economy can either be between repeat customers or between your peers. Connecting with customers is important if you want to build their loyalty. They may even present you with more permanent or more lucrative employment. Connecting with other members of your gig can be helpful. For example, experienced ride-sharing drivers can tell you which are the best routes or what times you can pick up the most passengers.
6. Diversify Income
When you do make enough money to earn a living and have enough to put aside, don’t just stick it in a bank account. Use your revenue streams to diversify your income. For example, you can invest your money in different small businesses if you want to become a serial entrepreneur. Or you can put your money in a mutual fund and let it grow. It’s important that you diversify your income because it can be your ticket out of the gig economy should you want to leave.
The gig economy is often the primary source of income for many people and in turn for the people they support. However, if you really want to make a living from the gig economy, you better be ready to work smarter and harder. These tips will be invaluable in ensuring you make the most out of your gigs.