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Gig Economy or Traditional Jobs? Be Prepared for Both Career Types

Gig Economy or Traditional Jobs? Be Prepared for Both Career Types

The stereotypical nine-to-five job is still a mainstay in the corporate and professional worlds. The hours may vary and include Saturdays or evenings if your target market includes the people with nine-to-fives. But the idea of having a single salaried or wage job is still popular. However, an alternative called the gig economy is growing stronger, too. Contractors, online consultants, and even Uber drivers and Airbnb property owners make money off of single-event jobs, or gigs. Part of this transformation has been due to uncertain job futures and low demand for some college graduates. Another underlying cause is the Internet: when it’s easier to connect customers and suppliers without a corporation in the middle, that’s what will happen. People are also participating in both, a primary job and a side-gig, to increase their savings and prepare for retirement.

Should you look for a traditional job or look for gigs?

Both styles of making money have their own benefits. It’s increasingly popular to find a mixture of both, especially if full-time work isn’t available. Both types of job formats also lead naturally to the other: corporations may need to both lay off full-time salaried employees and hire contractors because they are less expensive (even at a higher hourly rate of pay). Contract and consulting work can also easily turn into a traditional job under the right circumstances. Make sure you build up:

  1. A collection of resumes
  2. A portfolio of previous work with references if possible
  3. Personal accounts on job sites, freelancing sites, and LinkedIn

What are the advantages of traditional jobs?

A nine-to-five or a forty-hour work week might get a lot of flack in pop culture, but they have their fair share of benefits. These include:

  • A fixed baseline salary that most corporations can’t decrease without cause.
  • Access to health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits at a reduced cost.
  • Short-term security. While you may not have the same job for your whole career, traditional employment is more likely to give stable work and pay.
  • A traditional work history. While contract work and gigs are becoming more and more popular, both resume reading software and HR representatives are still more comfortable selecting candidates with an employment history.

Traditional jobs also give you a wealth of experience into how businesses work. While technical programs can help you gain knowledge and experience in mastering different fields, there is no replacing hours of customer service and seeing how your position or department works within a larger organization.

What are the benefits of working in the gig economy?

The gig economy straddles the midline between starting your own company and working for someone else. You’re self-employed but you aren’t necessarily selling goods and services to individual consumers. Instead, you have a variety of clients you perform business-related services for. This can come with a lot of stress and uncertainty because you don’t have a regular paycheck to look forward to. However, the benefits include:

  • Geographic freedom. You can work online, at locations that make sense to your schedule or a combination of both.
  • Control over your schedule. Freelance work has deadlines, and some services do have required hours of performance. But you control whether you accept or decline each gig according to what’s going on in your life.
  • More experience. No two gigs are alike. Whether you’re a computer programmer or a hair stylist, you will come across multiple corporate cultures, make business contacts in multiple industries, and build a more varied portfolio.
  • Business skills. While you might accept contracts for set rates or set results, many times you will be negotiating your own rates. You decide what your time is worth, send your own invoices, and market yourself as a professional. It’s the perfect trial run for deciding if starting your own LLC is what you want out of your career.

Once you know what field you want your career in, you can choose between a range of positions and job formats. You can decide between traditional employment, working in the gig economy, and starting your own business. Let Bishop & Company offer more insight into your options to find the right fit in the Hawaii job market.

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