In my coaching practice I often partner with my clients to find their answer to the all-important question about life-work-style. Life-work-style? This is defined as one’s unique fingerprint of life and work. A style that expresses your identity, supports your intent, and offers you the opportunity to work and play.
The word ‘gig’ has so much more meaning today than just conjured up ideas of alternative-looking musicians, playing at ad-hoc events as a source of income. ‘Gig’ has grown-up and morphed into “a purposeful shift in how you express the work you do in the new global economy.”
BBC defines the gig economy as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs.” The term was popularised around the height of the 2008-2009 international financial crisis and now includes a spectrum of workers ranging from full-time independent contractors (ie. consultants) to people who moonlight for UBER a few hours a week. Other examples of this new labour market, namely giggers, includes sole proprietors, photographers, writers, tradespeople or truck drivers.
Large groups of the global population faced underemployment, or no employment at all, in the wake of the 2009 economic reset. Many picked up temporary work or sought to supplement their income with additional part-time work. Slowly others - who had not yet considered operating outside of traditional, full-time employment - turned towards creating an alternative income by working a few gigs at once.
Ten years later and the trend is not showing any signs of slowing down. Forbes reports that an estimated 43% of the US-workforce will work within the gig economy by 2020. Already, around 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe are engaged as independent contractors.
With traditional employment and the giging alternative now in the mix, consider the following towards achieving a life-work-style that uniquely expresses you.
Work, Sweet Work
It’s important to find/create a sanctuary, that enables boundaried freedom from distractions and pressures, to ground yourself - in order to do your best work.
With no rules the requirement is simple: create a workspace that is comfortable and conducive to getting the job done, effortlessly and elegantly.
It’s all Under Control
In the workplace, routines are often associated with a boring health and safety regulations. Yes, the gig economy offers great freedom, but with that freedom comes the responsibility to create fluid structures. This includes choosing your own working hours and keeping yourself safe - economically, physically and emotionally. Implementing a flexible structure that works for you will provide the assurance that there is order.
For the people, by the people
A sense of belonging with peers, who aid your professional progress, is important to nurture you as you embark on what is often a lonely path.
Find a mentor, get a coach, network. From the onset use social media as a long-term strategy to build meaningful connections and then invest the time face-to-face with the people that align with you.
There’s no denying it: the gig (economy) is on the up, so if you want to make it work for you, you need to ask yourself what will be your gigging strategy?