Category: Career Coaching

Hustling in the ‘Gig’ Economy

We are now part of the ‘hustling class,’ always looking for work, evaluating and updating our skills and value, and staying aware of potential future opportunities. – Diane Mulcahy, author, The Gig Economy

Today more than a third of Americans are working in the ‘Gig’ Economy – mixing together short-term jobs, contract work and freelance assignments.  Recent surveys shows nearly 70 million America workers, 43% of the total US labor force, work independently to some degree. Nearly 50 million do it by choice.

No surprise here, workers freed from the constraints of office life report higher levels of satisfaction and greater productivity.  For the brave souls who chose this lifestyle, life has never been better as it offers more freedom, flexibility and work-life balance. For others, the work is risky as they struggle to cobble together sufficient ‘gigs’ to survive and seek self-funded insurance and retirement options.

Succeeding in it starts with a mindset of owning your own career trajectory.  Next is leveraging your skills, knowledge and network to create a portfolio of gigs. Workers who possess strong technical, management, leadership, or creative abilities are best positioned to create a working life that incorporates flexibility, autonomy, and meaning.

Up for it?  Start with building a portfolio of gigs – It’s easier if you have a full-time job or a significant contract assignment to anchor your portfolio.  Not every gig has to pay, they can be volunteer positions that allow you to explore an interest, learn a skill, or pursue a passion.  Here are four types of gigs:

  1. Gigs to get your foot in the door – Not sure how to break into a new field? Find a part-time gig that offers the opportunity to begin the process of meeting and collaborating with people in a new industry or sector.
  2. Gigs to experiment – Use gigs to test opportunities, either continue to invest more time if it’s successful or move on to something else if it’s not.
  3. Gigs to learn by doing – Learn on the job, at your own pace, in lower-risk situations to gain practice and be comfortable enough to smoothly transition to that role.
  4. Gigs to do what you really want to do – Pursue what you’ve always wanted to do to avoid the deferred life plan. The deferred life plan refers to focusing on things we ‘should’ do, while deferring the things we really want to do until…someday (which may never arrive).  There’s a significant chance that we’ll get so caught up in the trappings of the life (the title, the compensation, the position) that we’ll later find it difficult to step away to purse the dream.

The ‘Gig’ Economy is here folks, growing quickly and showing no signs of reversing.  It will continue to grow according to employer surveys as talent scarcity, readily available part times, automations and robotics, and global workforce alternatives become even more prevalent.  Independent work and services will be in higher demand from both individuals and employers.

Good news, the new American dream is evolving in a way that allows people to access the lifestyle they want focusing more on a quality of life consisting of time and experiences rather than a quantity of stuff.  If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, start hustling now, build your portfolio and pursue the career and lifestyle of your dreams.  Speaking from experience, it’s so worth it!

This was adapted from “The Gig Economy:  The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want: 2016 Diane Mulcahy

Beth Bryce is a Career Strategist, Transformation Catalyst, and Founder of Daring Circle Ranch leading others through their own Life Revolution.   She enjoys taking risks, getting lost in the woods, pizza, and her Jack Russell Terrier – not necessarily in that order.

Seeking Career Clarity?

crossroads

Countless people in their 30s, 40s and beyond have told me, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?” Nervous laughter usually follows – on their end. Even so, it’s a very serious question not to be taken lightly. Most find it difficult to answer my question, “So, what do you want to do?” I’ve discovered it’s easier for folks to answer what they don’t want to do.

Through trial and error, people become crystal clear on what they don’t like; toxic work environments, unfair pay, bad bosses, and boring job duties. In fact, all day long we can yammer about what makes us miserable – to anyone that will listen! So again, what do you want to do? Insert the sound of crickets here.

This two column exercise can help you gain clarity on your next career move:

  1. Column One: Start with a list of what youdon’t want in your career makeup, including length of commute, type of manager and co-workers, industries you have no business being in, lots of evening/weekend hours, no health care, travel. Enjoy your cubicle? You get the picture.
  2. Move on to what kind of work makes you cringe. Working on spreadsheets for hours works for some, but not me. Do you dislike sales? Public speaking? Managing people?
  3. Column Two: Reflect on the exact opposite outlined in column one. Write it down, line by line. Not happy with $60K a year? Column two will be +$65K. The more details, the closer you’ll get.

Perhaps you had a dream, started down a path only to realize later that it’s not what you imagined. Definitely, no one wants to start all over again at square one. Years have passed, families started, homes purchased, and responsibilities have grown. It’s not only difficult to figure out what you love, it’s even harder to pursue. Getting clear on what you don’t want may lead you to your passion. Take it from me, it’s worth the pursuit. The best part is you don’t have to start at square one. You just have to start.

 Not all who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkien

 Beth Bryce is a Career Strategist, Transformation Catalyst, and Founder of Daring Circle Ranch leading others through their own Life Revolution.   She enjoys taking risks, getting lost in the woods, pizza, and her Jack Russell Terrier – not necessarily in that order.

Is it Time to Leap?

Leap

Does this sound like your current job?  You aren’t exactly happy, but you aren’t unhappy enough to do anything about it?  Studies show that approximately 70% of people agree.  Standing in between misery and bliss is officially called “being in a rut”.   While it may be comfortable, it’s also painful.  Sadly, most people are okay knowing tomorrow is going to be just another “meh” day because at least they know what to expect.   Do you really want a lifetime of utter boredom?

You might be stuck in a rut without even realizing it. Here are five powerful questions to help you understand whether it’s time for you to make a leap.

  1. Does this job allow me to work with “my tribe” – people I respect who share my values and agree on what matters or do I have to put on a mask to get through the day?
  2. Does this job provide opportunities for growth that stretch and challenge me or am I just aimlessly circling around on auto-pilot on an empty tank of gas?
  3. Does this job, because of my responsibilities, set me up to launch into future positions that advance my career?
  4. Does this job compensate me fairly based upon my education, talents, and skills, and the value I bring to the organization?
  5. Does this job – the daily tasks that I actually do, fill my heart and feed my soul in meaningful ways?

While the answers to these questions have a different level of importance for each of us, the answer to No. 5 is a must. Your work must matter to you on a deep level that gives purpose to your life.  If you aren’t feeling the love, you must be relentless.  Investigate careers, ask yourself hard questions, and take risks.  If you aren’t stretching, you aren’t growing.  If you aren’t growing, then ultimately you are dying inside.  I vote for stretching and growing.  How about you?

Life leaps like a geyser for those who drill through the rock of inertia. ~ Alexis Carrel

 Beth Bryce is a Career Strategist, Transformation Catalyst, and Founder of Daring Circle Ranch leading others through their own Life Revolution.   She enjoys taking risks, getting lost in the woods, pizza, and her Jack Russell Terrier – not necessarily in that order.

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