The rise of the digital economy brings exciting opportunities to those working in the gig economy.
The gig economy is characterised by short-term contracts for freelance workers or contractors to work on jobs on temporary basis.
Freelancing may seem fun as it offers flexibility and autonomy, but it is not easy to do.
So, if you have any intention of being part of the gig economy, you need to set up some safety measures because unlike full-time employment, gig work won’t offer stability.
Here are some things that you have to keep in mind:
Create a financial safety net
Being part of the gig economy community, it’s not easy to secure a stable income especially when you get paid on an irregular basis.
As it can be pretty tight financially, you need to put aside some money for rainy days. Depending on your spending habits, you need to reserve at least six months’ worth of minimum living expenses into your saving account.
You can dip into this savings when you find yourself short. However, do remember to add back into your savings when your business picks up.
Creating a financial safety net also includes setting up a retirement plan. For this, do ask yourself, how much do you intend on saving and how much can you actually put aside each month.
Know your rights
As a freelancer, you might not be entitled to any benefits, compared to those with a full-time job. However, that does not mean you don’t have any rights.
Before engaging in any contract work, you need to be aware of the details such as when it comes to getting paid, terms of termination, expectations from every job delivery, and insurance requirements.
Secure more than one gig
Having just one gig work will not be sustainable, so it’s important to secure as many gigs as you can before you complete a job.
For this, you need to build a strong relationship with your clients who trust that you can do a good job so that they will keep coming back to you.
Knowing that you have a couple of steady gigs in the pipeline will allow you the peace of mind to find new projects and prospects.
Empower yourself with technology
Technology is the biggest tool that enables freelancers to work remotely, so you need to be updated with the latest technology available.
For instance, be sure to fully utilise the latest apps, wireless and cloud technology available that can help you in your work.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, September 7, 2019.