“To be honest, there is something about this gig economy that feels unknown and exciting, like the promise of freedom, a manifest destiny in a high-tech frontier.”
What exactly is a job? Who exactly is a gig worker?
Before I share my story, I wish to quote one of my favourite tweets by Johnny Uzaan-
“The character limit is Twitter’s best feature. In a world of endless possibilities, the right constraints unlock enormous value.”
The right kind of constraints (that’s how I see it for myself) is the reason why people decide to become freelancers and consultants. For me, the feasibility to work remotely and manage my life at the same time was the biggest hook.
But my biggest challenge as a Marketing and Communications Consultant was how do I even find work or make myself known in the industry. I am sure there are sites, social media, but does it help? All my friends were full-time employees (and still are!) and rising up the corporate ladder.
Would this even work for me?
Thankfully for me (and I consider myself seriously blessed), it was an ex-boss and a mentor who guided me and referred me to one of his friends.
I still remember as to how I was reluctant to meet my first client and he said, “No harm in a meeting. You might not get the work? The world will not fall apart.“
And that’s how I landed up with my first assignment as a gig worker.
My second assignment was with an international HR Tech publication. I have always been fascinated by HR Tech and the value it brings to an organization.
I was amazed by the way the entire ecosystem operates. For me, HR meant recruitment only. But it’s only when I worked with an HR Tech publication that I understood the entire ecosystem and the endless possibilities the sector offers.
And because I was a consultant and not a nine-to-five worker, there was so much to learn always. To do my job better, I had to study and keep myself updated with the latest happenings in the sector so that I could be a valuable addition to the team and not just another remote worker.
That’s when I realised value is not tied to a cubicle or a quarterly MBO. It is tied to the brand value you generate in the end through your work.
People need to stop fixating on a world of security that is tied to a job and monthly salary. Yes, there are days when I end up worrying about my future. As a matter of fact, I recently met another prospective client that if I was a full-time employee he would have treated me better or signed a contract or defined my commitment and KPI clearly.
But to be honest, there is something about this gig economy that feels unknown and exciting, like the promise of freedom, a manifest destiny in a high-tech frontier. I will not talk about the problems, which I am sure is common for most of us like delayed payments, no contract, no commitment terms.
However, the biggest upside for me was that in the process of becoming a gig worker, I ended up knowing myself well, I ended being a little more kind and a lot more skilled and productive than what I could have been if I was a regular employee.
It’s only been two years and I do not know what the future holds for me. I might go back to a full-time job, maybe start my own company or continue as a gig worker but one thing is for sure #ISupportGig and I always will.
This article is a tribute to all my clients who have trusted me with their brand. Thank you, without your support and respect, this journey and this article would not have been possible.