The "Gig Economy"

I've been hearing and reading a lot lately about the "Gig Economy." This is loosely defined as an employment structure filled with people who hold specific skills and talents stringing together contractual or part-time work to cobble together a full-time position. In my day (and I realize how old that makes me sound) we called this "freelance."

This is how I've operated for most of my career, and I love it. For years, possibly decades, it was considered to be outside the norm. I have been asked why I "don't have a job" and had people I know, some of whom I work with, say things like "Man, you just can't hold down a job." I guess that's because, in my mind, when I'm working on behalf of someone, I believe I'm working FOR them. So, I introduce myself as "Jennifer representing X." I guess I can see how there may be confusion.

I have long believed this employment structure is genius. It does not commit me to any one client, which means I work for a variety of businesses. It keeps me sharp. And I'm often struck by how strategies that work in one industry prove to be successful and innovative in another.

I have been told that this structure presents a significant cost savings to the business. No benefits. Often no long-term commitment. I'm in. And I'm out. (Author's note: I get bored easily, so I'm definitely A-OK with all of this.)

So I say "Long Live The Gig Economy!" It's nice to see it getting the recognition it deserves.

Jennifer Korfiatis