Jobs in the rapidly expanding gig economy
“Gig” workers are those who work on a contingent basis, ie consulting, freelance, temporary, or casual. Their numbers have risen dramatically, and continue to do so.
This is the fastest-growing category of new jobs.
It offers seductive benefits to both consumers and workers. For workers advantages include flexibility, independence and freedom to choose when and where to work, ability to develop new skill sets and determine own future career directions. There’s also the opportunity to build up a business or consultancy.
Significantly there are also challenges and downsides for workers. Temporary means what it says: lack of certainty, lack of security, lack of any guarantees, uncertain future. All of this can be very stressful. Banks for example don’t lend money where there is uncertainty about tomorrow.
The gig economy is also erasing years of hard-won worker protections. At the rate gig work is growing, future generations won’t have superannuation, a minimum wage, worker’s compensation, overtime, sick leave, or the right to collectively bargain or join form/join unions.
What it effectively does is allow organisations to circumvent labour laws by describing workers as independent contractors rather than employees.
Why is this happening? Because it’s so profitable for corporations and consumers find it convenient.
According to The Guardian online news: “Gig workers are about 30% cheaper because companies pay them only when they need them,” and employers don’t have to pay the add-ons like superannuation, sick leave, etc.
Career Planning in the Age of Gig Work
Maybe there is no point in planning for future unknowns!
Well actually career development is more important than ever! And so also are career practitioners.