As the job market becomes more competitive, we are witnessing more and more fresh graduates, and even students, dabbling in freelance work.
Freelancing is actually part of the ‘gig economy’, which describes an environment where temporary positions are available for independent workers.
‘Gig workers’ or freelancers can be found commonly working in the food delivery service or driving service, as online contributors, or even tutors.
For Sarawak, the most visible gig workers can be found driving for ride-hailing services such as Grab and Uber.
However, these days, we see a lot of gig workers who have also infiltrated into white-collar professions such as in the healthcare, finance and technology sectors.
For these professionals, the obvious advantage is the flexibility and convenience that working in a gig economy provides them.
With the digital tools at their disposal, these professionals can provide IT services or financial advice and consultation without even leaving their home.
For those in healthcare, professionals in the gig economy can take advantage of telemedicine by speaking to their patients through the phone or videoconference.
Thus, the gig economy is also seen as an opportunity to increase the productivity of unemployed citizens to contribute to the nation’s economy.
In fact, The Economist highlighted that 162 million people in America and Europe, or more than 20 per cent of the working age population, worked outside normal employment last year, and that half of those relied on gigs for their primary income, and happily so.
However, as tempting as freelancing might sound, there are a few things that one should carefully consider. It is highly recommended that thorough research is done before participating fully in the gig economy.
For instance, gig workers might find themselves facing unpredictable income, due to the economy and job market conditions, and having little to no employee benefits resulting in low payment and perhaps no retirement schemes.
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, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2jTKCs4