“Every millennial I know has a side hustle or two, I don’t know anybody who has one job,” says Avalon Manly, who does freelance design, editing, and writing, in a recent New York Times Article. For Manly, these “side-hustles” supplement her more traditional income, but gig economy platforms like Lyft and AirBnb have widened the diversity of the gig economy and provided a way for people all over the world to create a side hustle and start looking for work rather than looking for jobs.
Work Security vs. Job Security
The gig economy has changed how we work and how work gets done. The list of projects and responsibilities that companies are turning over to freelancers and contractors also means a big shift in the kind of work that is available. In the 1990s new businesses opened their doors with about 7.5 jobs on average, compared to 4.9 jobs today. Businesses are relying on outside resources to provide crucial services and accomplish their goals with fewer permanent staff.
In her article "Why I Tell My MBA Students to Stop Looking for a Job and Join the Gig Economy," Adjunct Lecturer Diane Mulcahy explains that:
Companies no longer make promises of either professional or financial security to today’s workforce. Increasingly, both companies and workers prefer and choose the gig economy’s more flexible and independent work arrangements and, in the process, are transforming how, where, and when we work.
With traditional jobs becoming a rare option, and businesses disconnecting “work” from “jobs,” a freelancer’s flexibility and expertise can ensure that they enjoy as much work as they desire, but only by being the bEST and only choice for a company’s success in a world with more and more increasing choice.
Be Inspired To What You Do
Today’s diversity of opportunities in the gig economy is opening more doors, and providing ways for people to pursue their passions and pay their bills at the same time! Focusing on what you do really well is only the beginning. By determining what makes how you do what you do uniquely valuable and learning how to communicate that unique value effectively, you position yourself as the best, and only choice for a project’s success. As businesses begin to move away from traditional full-time employment, your Unique Value Proposition will wrangle the work you want, and grant you the flexibility of working in the gig economy.
The Intersection of UVP and Feedback
Put yourself in the shoes of those doing the choosing. As the gig economy continues to grow and the kinds of jobs available diversify, it’s not enough to simply offer a service. You have to be able to identify and communicate what makes you the bEST and only choice.
This process begins with self-analysis and continues by asking for feedback, then taking the praise, suggestions and critiques to heart. You customer will tell you exactly why they think you are the bEST, and sometimes it may be for a different reason than you think: availability, timeliness, friendly demeanor, and ease of work relationship are important factors when choosing a freelancer for a project. When you are up against a competitor with a similar skillset, your people skills and work ethic can turn the tide in your favor.
With your UVP in hand, and the precious feedback of your clients, you will learn from each side hustle and gig what makes you the bEST. Now…get out there and HUSTLE!