Written for EO by Lucy Reed, from GigMine.
There’s a lot to like about taking part in the gig economy. Parents love the flexibility to work around school schedules. Retirees can cash in on years of experience without re-entering the workplace. Adventurers appreciate the ability to work from anywhere in the world.
The gig economy lets you establish a career on your terms.
If you follow a few simple rules, you can be one of the millions of people working on their own terms. In fact, it’s estimated that the gig economy comprises about one-third of today’s workforce.
1. Establish your budget.
Knowing how much money you require every month will help you figure how many hours you’ll need to work and how large a nest egg it’ll take to get started. It can take a little time to get settled, find the right opportunities and cover your financial obligations.
And don’t forget that as a self-employed contractor, it’s up to you to handle your taxes. In the United States, your best bet is to submit estimated taxes on a quarterly basis.
2. Find your gig.
Once your budgetary parameters are set, you can start looking for a gig that’s aligned with your experience and expertise.
Maybe you enjoyed the kind of work you did from 8 to 5 but couldn’t stand your supervisor or the toxic environment at the office. Now’s your chance to apply that background and become a solopreneur or independent contractor. Or consider translating your hobby into a business venture. Maybe you can transform that passion for pastries into a way to make a living. Turn your sewing skills into the start of an online store.
This is your chance to earn a living doing what you love. There’s nothing quite like feeling personally fulfilled at the end of the day, knowing that you’re in a financially stable and sustainable situation.
If you’re launching your own venture, consider developing your brand—with logo, tagline and website. Some people decide to work with a freelance design artist to help them come up with an engaging look. There are also online logo generators as well as slogan tools to choose from, and many are free.
3. Start the hunt for jobs.
Like any job search, finding the right opportunity can take some time. Focus on networking—online and in person. Approach as many potential employers as possible. Be realistic about how much work you can do in the course of a day. And be patient. It may take time before the ideal situation presents itself, but you can always accept short-term or small assignments to start.
There are a number of websites that focus on gig-based opportunities. The most popular include Fiverr, Behance.Net, FlexJobs.com, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, and Gigster. You can find a wide range of gig-based jobs in everything from robotics to call center customer service.
Remember: You’re engaged in building a new livelihood. It’s worth putting in the time and effort to make it what you want!
Successful solopreneurs can join their peers in EO, a global network of accomplished entrepreneurs. Learn more about how to apply and what to expect.