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May 14, 2024 / Shelby Yinger
Gig economy offers workers independence

Gig economy offers workers independence

You’ve heard the terms gig worker and gig economy, but you’re not sure what they mean. And you are wondering if it is something that might be right for you. In short, the gig economy is characterized by short-term contracts or freelance work rather than permanent employment. While gig work might not provide the same level of stability as traditional employment, it presents the following unique opportunities that can be advantageous from a financial perspective.

  • Flexibility. Gig workers have the freedom to set their own schedules, choose their projects or assignments, and work as much or as little as they desire. This flexibility allows individuals to balance their work commitments with personal obligations, such as childcare, education, or other part-time jobs, maximizing their earning potential without sacrificing other aspects of their lives.
  • Additional income streams. Gig work provides opportunities to diversify income streams and supplement earnings from other sources. Whether it’s driving for a ride-sharing service, freelancing as a graphic designer, or renting out a spare room on a short-term rental platform, gig workers canGraphic of a business woman sitting at a desk with money flying out her laptop around her. leverage their skills and assets to generate additional income beyond their primary job or source of income.
  • Income potential. In some cases, gig work can offer higher earning potential than traditional employment, especially for skilled professionals or individuals with specialized expertise. Freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors often command higher rates for their services, negotiate project-based fees, or capitalize on high-demand skills in the market, leading to increased earning potential.
  • Cost savings. Working in the gig economy can result in cost savings compared to traditional employment arrangements. Gig workers often enjoy lower commuting costs, as they can work remotely or choose assignments closer to home, reducing expenses associated with transportation, fuel, and vehicle maintenance. Additionally, some gig workers may benefit from tax deductions for home office expenses, equipment purchases, and other business-related costs.
  • Work-life balance. While not directly financial, achieving a better work-life balance through gig work can have significant economic benefits. By having greater control over their schedules and workload, gig workers can reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase overall job satisfaction, leading to higher productivity and better performance in their work.

Remember that gig work is not without its challenges, but individuals who embrace the gig economy can unlock new opportunities for financial growth, independence, and success.

 

Shelby Yinger is manager of F&M Trust’s community offices in Newville and on Ritner Highway in Carlisle.

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