Many people entering the gig economy know that regular jobs are not seeing raises. Earning power appears to be on the decline and “life-long” jobs are also evaporating. We end up pretending we are a taxi driver or pretending we run a hotel to help make some extra cash. We try to build up new streams of revenue because employer loyalty can often be shaky ground. A supervisor can be loyal, but incompetent, hence costing a company an important client. A new boss can decide that you’re no longer a fit for the company. The owner of the company can sell their company to a competitor, who bought it just to reduce competition.
The horrid and wonderful thing about the gig economy is the non-existent entry barrier. A person doesn’t need to be hired, go through a training program, and get certified before they start. With the gig economy, they can just start right away. That leads to a large influx of “sampler” personalities that drive down prices. In addition, talent is no longer cultivated, it simply does or doesn’t exist. Most gig jobs don’t care to work through process improvements.
All these things combine to lead towards one conclusion: combining several entry level gigs to form a patchwork of a “regular job”. This patchwork can have inconsistent revenue and people taking your work for granted.
So how do you end up loving this twine ball of stress?
- Leave your ego at the door
- Celebrate wins, like setting your own work schedule
- Practice hobbies outside of work; the more artistic the better
- Keep an eye on your hourly rate (don’t earn too little)
- Build routines (Patchwork gigs need to able to set on auto-pilot and have a predictable workflow. When you set the hours, often times the hardest part is simply beginning.)