What is the gig economy?

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Freelancing, temporary work and employment opportunities in the sharing economy form part of what is now known as the 'Gig Economy'.

The workforce is changing as more people move toward a short term employment model.

It has become the new norm for professionals to offer their services on a part time basis rather than enter into full time employment.

These short term stints are known as 'gigs'.

According to the video 'What is the Gig Economy', permanent full time employment is no longer seen as the only way to make a living.

Studies show that this new economy is emerging as a result of technological advances."Companies are now able to hire workers anywhere in the world who can then easily telecommute and work remotely for them."

Social media is another major contributor to the evolution of work. "Social media has given people the ability to market themselves and sell their products and services at a much cheaper cost than traditional advertising."

So, are you ready to join the Gig Economy?

The Upside

As with every career choice their are pros and cons.

We live in an era where passion, creativity, personal development, job satisfaction and work life balance are rated as important values for working professionals.

The benefit of the gig economy is that it gives people more freedom to pursue their interests and grow in these areas.

Even in the face of economic instability people are willing to give up their job security to satisfy other, more pressing needs with many claiming to lead "richer lives than their corporate counterparts," according to the Harvard Business Review.

The Downside

That is not to say that short term employment opportunities are easy to come by. The lack of a steady income and the unpredictable nature of self employment can lead to constant worry and fear.

In addition competition in the freelance sector is high and the pressure to continuously grow your skills and sell yourself can be stressful.

Professionals who pursue a freelance career also forgo the traditional benefits of permanent employment such as healthcare or retirement policies.

Despite these losses the gig economy is growing and "both companies and workers will need to adapt to it."

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