There are false perceptions that persist all around us. Not every salad is “healthy.” Millennials aren’t teenagers. (They’re all 27 or older, grandpa.) And in Monopoly, sadly, the racing car token doesn’t guarantee you victory. The same is true of contract work: Many people don’t understand the modern gig economy, and it may be costing them a crack at valuable work experience, career advancement and a more desirable lifestyle. Here are four misconceptions about contract work that could be holding you back from what may be a better brand of work:
Blue collar, white collar, all collars.
Driving Uber and Doordash is honest work, but the gig economy expands well beyond rideshare and delivery jobs. Independent contracting comes in all shapes, sizes, industries, salaries and levels of expertise and experience. From IT to accounting to engineering, these high-end, specialized gig positions often pay well and offer the sort of lifestyle flexibility that typically is difficult to find in a “permanent” staff role. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the contractor community isn’t for you based on misconceptions about the work itself. You could miss out on multiple opportunities of a lifetime.
Everyone is participating.
Misconceptions about contract work begin with a failure of imagination that has kept some workers from even considering it as an option. The perception that the gig economy is meant only for the semi-retired who are supplementing their income, or for workers who aren’t able to land traditional employment, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Contingent labor is part of the gig economy, and people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of education and expertise are opting in. And for good reason: Compensation for some gigs is equivalent to an annual salary well into the six figures, and the corporate world’s recent embrace of contract workers has opened up numerous new opportunities across industries.
Finding gigs is often easier than you think.
Although the gig economy literally has no barriers to entry, many staff workers assume the perks of independent contracting are either out of reach or require a grind that would be too grueling – or risky – to keep up. After all, finding new gigs can feel like a full-time job all its own, right?
It doesn’t have to be. A staff employee can always dip a toe in the gig economy without giving up their full-time role to gauge whether contracting is right for them – or just to build up a solid freelancing foundation. Once you’re ready to take the plunge, word of mouth often spreads and your work speaks for itself. Take it a step further, though, by signing on with a staffing agency – or a talent cloud like PeopleCaddie. Third-party intermediaries help you connect to eager employers looking for people just like you.
You don’t have to wait.
There’s no threshold of experience that freezes out a certain demographic of workers from the gig economy. A significant portion of independent contractors are younger pros who have gravitated to contingent labor as a lifestyle choice – and there is no shortage of employers willing to put them to work and pay them fairly.
A foundation of past work will always help a candidate in their search for the next job, but the reality is that companies hire people of all ages and experience levels for gig work. There’s no 10 Commandments of Contracting that requires a worker to “pay their dues” before trying their hand at contracting. The flexible schedule, reduced stress and handsome pay that often comes with professional gig work may be within your grasp right now.
Interested in learning more about contract work? Check out how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud.