“Gig” is the word best describing the economy we work in now.

Gig has several definitions including:

1. something that whirls.
2. to catch or spear.
3. a single professional engagement.
4. any job, especially one of short or uncertain duration.

For workers in the “gig” economy, one must learn to whirl in drastically changing business models.

To see our professional work as a single engagement with a day to day timeline is a healthy posture in the gig economy.  Each one of us is susceptible to being let go at a moment’s notice.   If you resist seeing this reality of shifting work, your sense of identity and confidence will take a lot of unnecessary jabs.

To see work as a gig is especially important because we can’t attach our confidence to one employer or think we will work in the same position indefinitely.

Being let go, even on the best of terms is still humiliating and daunting. In the gig economy we have to stay constantly aware of possibilities and future work even as we are highly productive in our current role.

What would it look like if we all began to view future work as a short term “gig”?
In this new paradigm, there are no job hoppers.

Here are a few gig strategies for the future:
1. Be continuously ready to whirl if you have a job because change is inevitable and tomorrow you may need to look for a new gig.
2. Catch moments with your network of connections and actively search for work even if you think your current work is long term. It may not be.
3. Recognize any job is susceptible to a short duration in our current job market.  We have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable reality of moving from gig to gig without taking it personally.
The gig economy calls for tougher skin and a wider lens of possibilities.

What words would you add to describe the gig economy?


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Our New Normal: The “Gig” Economy
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One thought on “Our New Normal: The “Gig” Economy

  • I would add precarious, disastrous, uncertain, insecure, no life outside of continuously looking for work, and permanent unemployment for ever increasing numbers of people. The gig economy will cause a downward spiral in the standard of living for most people. Only a lucky few will be able to live well. The economy will also take a downward spiral as more and more people are struggling and can’t afford much more than basic survival. There is no room for family in a gig economy. You need steady work for that. Only a luck few stand to gain, the vast majority stand to lose big time. Our whole system will eventually collapse. Those lucky few who gain can’t buy enough to keep it going.

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