Running with Rusniak – Getting Started in the Gig Economy
by Sara Rusniak
21 Oct 2018
As the unemployment rate continues to decline, individuals are finding that they hold the power in the workplace. As a result, they have the freedom to seek out opportunities that will most favorably affect them professionally and personally—whether through a bigger paycheck, better benefits, or more flexibility.
As a business owner, company executive, or manager, are you feeling the pressure and pain of identifying, hiring, and retaining extraordinary talent? Or perhaps you are an employee with marketable skills who is shopping around for the best position and compensation to fit your lifestyle.
Regardless of your circumstances, you might find an alternative solution via the gig economy. I speak from experience when I tell you that as an individual, you can turn your side hustle into much more than supplemental income; you can transform it into a bona fide career! Employers, too, can harness the talent within the gig economy by bringing on hourly contractors who add diversity and depth to their teams.
If you haven’t explored how you can embrace the gig economy, read on to learn how you can get started!
My Experience as a Professional in the Gig Economy
I started in the gig economy about five years ago when I became a virtual personal assistant to business owners. I found my first client on Craigslist and now provide my services to seven clients in total. I started purely as what millennials call a “side hustle,” an effort to earn a few extra dollars to our household income and help pay off my husband’s law school debts more quickly. My first milestone in my gig experience came a year and a half in, when, with a little frugality, we paid off my husband’s law school loans eight years early!
Within about two and a half years, I had enough business to quit my full-time job and become a work-from-home mom (who had a newborn in the house at the time). The gig economy has allowed me to use my project management skills to sustain a viable income and help pay our household bills while enjoying the flexibility of caring for my young family.
My clients say that my services have allowed them to focus on the big picture, leave the details to someone else, simplify their days, and improve their relationships with their spouses. As a virtual personal assistant, I’ve learned that many small business owners and entrepreneurs are drowning in minutia and often rely on the support of their better halves to aid them with the administrative sides of their businesses (something those better halves could do without!).
Since leaving my full-time office job behind and becoming a proponent for the gig economy, it’s unbelievable how many times I get asked about what I do and how I do it. Many people want to know if it will work for them.
I tell them that if they are committed to getting things done, it will work!
How Can You Get Started in the Gig Economy?
Here are my suggestions: