The gig economy is not new. Independent contracting, temporary contracts, short-term engagements in the workforce, etc. have long been there. We can also refer it to as ‘freelancing,’ and it has skyrocketed over the years. As an influencer and a business owner, I have always supported the gig economy. People have been working gigs over the years, but today, when I talk about ‘gig economy,’ I am specifically talking about new-age technology-enabled kind of work.
Being a CEO, I have come across many professionals who work gigs. In India, especially, it has rapidly climbed to make its own space, and today, it employs thousands, if not millions.
Although digital platforms have provided companies with more effective and newer ways of hiring people with the right expertise and skills, it allows more people to choose flexible work options and work remotely. This has led many to pay more attention to developing a holistic work-life balance.
As a freelancer, you can get more work and more pay than you would get being an employee at an organization. However, you need to understand that you are not the lone freelancer out there in the market. Working gigs is not as easy as it sounds. Companies and businesses are looking for ways to cut spending and spend more time growing their businesses.
This has made them turn towards outsourcing and automation. Today, you will see fewer employees since the work either is being outsourced or has been automated.
But, it still is hard to find people skilled on new age technologies and therefore the employers are more flexible about how they engage with people who have these skills. This gives better bargaining power to a freelancer when speaking to a potential employer. As skills become more mainstream and commoditised, the skill holder loses their leverage.
In order to get gigs and develop a robust portfolio, you have to be in sync with the latest technology and developments happening in your field and industry. The signs of its growing demand are already visible. The skills gap is impacting the economy. In the case of India, a large part of such gig ends up employing in lower-skilled and low pay jobs due to a lack of desire to take part in upskilling programs.
However, there are individuals who have taken upskilling on a serious note. As far as I know, six out of ten professionals in Bangalore have taken up machine learning as part of their upskilling program. They have understood that learning new technologies is an essential part of the gig economy.
Upskill is the key to success
The daily grind of the full-time job leaves no room for skill and knowledge growth. In a world full of deliverables, bottom lines, and metrics, there is not much incentive from professionals to stay ahead of the knowledge curve. One aspect I am principally fond of, at Jigsaw Academy, is to have the inspiration and skill-building exercises. We bring in educators and guest speakers to help our employees and staff reignite their passion for learning and develop new skills, and encourage them to ask a whole lot of questions.
The future of every business is technology, it doesn’t matter which industry you serve in. If you don’t upskill, you will bury down under competition.
The reason I am being an advocate for upskilling for new-age technologies is that it helps an individual expand his/her professional network. Being an entrepreneur, I know the part networking plays in my line of business. As you step into conferences, seminars, and workshops, you acquaint yourself with different people who will ultimately help you in expanding your professional as well as a business network.
The automation process across the industries has created a new demand for IT services and products. Although all industries are influenced by change, the Information Technology sector takes full responsibility for leading the transformations to simplify change in other industries as well.
Equally fast, newer products and processes have been invented, for which upskilling is mandatory.
Changing demand of the customers and marketplace shifts also poses a threat to the gig economy. You have to continuously upskill to keep pace with problem-solving, logical thinking, coding, machine learning, and integrating different technologies.
When you upskill to learn the latest technologies like blockchain, robotics, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, you become agile. You can quickly adapt to the changing needs of the business. You can meet the demands of the market and assist in driving the change. This can help you be an essential part of the gig economy.
It can open new doors for you in the industry. The best part, you can conceive ideas and convert them into projects and even form partnerships with like-minded people.
If you ask me, this is the best time to upskill since some technologies are still nascent in India. And if you are able to educate yourself and gather knowledge about your industry, you can achieve success like no other and give back to the gig-economy.