At 10EQS, we understand the opportunities and challenges of a gig-economy lifestyle. Being a gig-worker can provide the opportunity to create and manage your own work-life balance, to choose your own venue of work as well as choosing the types of projects you work on. To millions of people this is attractive, but being ready to succeed in the gig-economy is hard work, and unfamiliar to many who have worked in more traditional settings.
Over the past few years we’ve formed and managed teams with tens of thousands of gig-professionals for our clients. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned for those wanting to get started along this path:
STEP 1: Accentuate your niche skills and knowledge capabilities.
Although companies sometimes use "generalists" for project work, that's more the exception than the rule. Today's gig marketplace often requires highly specialized skill sets or expertise - for example, the ability to research and build industry-specific market landscape studies or niche expertise on highly technical topics. Representing your abilities in this way can require revising your electronic resume (e.g. LinkedIn) to accentuate your ability to navigate the landscape of specific industries and topics. Think of the kinds of niche's and projects you would be best at and pack your profile with the right "key words" that enable you to be easily found for those topics.
STEP 2: Prepare to be flexible in terms of time spent, companies you engage with, and project mechanics.
The gig-economy offers a plethora of engagement mechanisms (companies, client size, contract types, hours worked, etc.) that can require contractor flexibility. Your ability to establish an online gig reputation depends not just on your level of expertise, but on your ability to engage successfully in a fast-paced, fluid working environment. Gig-work becomes a partnership with the clients you engage with, where contributing to a successful project often means going the extra mile to succeed. The reward is often that contract extension or the next follow-on project.
STEP 3: Engage in a highly structured way.
Working gig-economy assignments often requires working virtually, which can mean that your daily activities and progress are harder for clients to keep up with. This means extra effort in terms of daily communications, scheduled meetings, calendar management and providing concrete deliverables and regular updates.
STEP 4: Become comfortable with online tool sets and video environments.
Many gig-economy projects are conducted in on-line virtual settings that have video and group collaboration environments as part of your everyday client interaction. Being unexpectedly asked to turn on your camera during a meeting is commonplace and can be a surprise if both you and your background are not ready for instantaneous presence! Make sure you have a stable Internet connection for Skype, Go-to-Meeting, or other online environments and a quiet work setting to conduct business from. Also, familiarize yourself with tools such as Google Drive, Box, Slack, Asana and others that are commonly used today for collaboration. The key is to be prepared for each client touch point by understanding in advance how to navigate the communications environment.
STEP 5: Sign up on the major gig-economy work platforms.
Many companies like 10EQS start project work by searching for expertise on their company platforms. We can jump start projects with people who already under NDA, who have their credentials uploaded and who are ready to engage. These platforms provide the first line of team formation as projects become available. Finding a strong association with particular platform companies (including their staff) can really help in gaining access to work. Although your credentials will be the first thing that gains attention, working with clients and winning repeat business means developing relationships and consistently delivering.
By taking these steps, you will enhance your chances of finding gig-project work- and in succeeding once those projects are underway.
Interested in learning more? Click here to sign up: https://www.10eqs.com/join_us#experts
This article was first seen on LinkedIn by Guy Cook