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#YouAintTheBossOfMe: The gig economy

My Job
My Job

I’m going to start with a verse from the great Dolly Parton – who’s Miley Cyrus’ godmother for all you not-in-the-know humans out there!

‘Workin' nine to five, what a way to make a livin'
Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'
They just use your mind and they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it
Nine to five, for service and devotion
You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion
Want to move ahead but the boss won't seem to let me
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me!’

If you’re like me and those lyrics speak to your soul, you might be interested in the gig economy where, instead of being paid a regular salary, workers are paid for each ‘gig’ they do, such as a car journey, food delivery or a copywriting job. 

Put simply, the gig economy is a labour market characterised by freelance, flexible, on-demand work rather than the more traditional nine-to-five working model.

Typically, workers in the gig economy find jobs by registering on websites or apps and signing up for what they want to do. Timing of jobs is spontaneous as apps and websites automatically connect people to deliver on requirements in real time.

Around 15,6% of the UK’s workforce is made up of the gig economy. The figure is 34% in the US and expected to rise to 43% by 2020. South Africa will no doubt follow suit.

Here’s what ya need to know before jumping on this bandwagon.

  •      You’re your own boss; so discipline is key.
  •      The gig economy is great for creatives: You get to pay the bills and also have time to pursue your passions.
  •      You have to level up your skills and industry knowledge continuously.
  •      You have to get crafty when it comes to traditional work benefits. You’ll need to figure out your own retirement plan, buy your own healthcare and make sure those sick days don’t leave your wallet lighter.
  •      It may take longer to build depth of experience.

The world is changing faster than it takes an influencer to upload a selfie. To become the #boss we are destined to be we have to adapt.

Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates: