IT Careers: What Should You Know About the Gig Economy
The IT industry is going through a transformation. If you’ve heard about the “gig economy” but aren’t sure what that means or even if it applies to you, here is some inside information. The Gig Economy isn’t new, but it is gaining steam with today’s job seekers. If you’re thinking about joining the Gig Economy as a technology professional, what do you need to know?
What Is The Gig Economy?
The Gig Economy, specifically when referring to IT professionals, is considered contract or freelance work. Employers are choosing to work with independent contractors on a project basis. After the recession began in 2007, many professionals found themselves out of work and by taking short term projects they were able to stay afloat. Now, some gig workers are choosing not to return to traditional jobs. Experts believe that about 40% of all workers in the United States will be part of the Gig Economy by 2020.
Contract and temporary jobs offers several benefits.
- You can choose your own schedule.
- You work for yourself.
- You can accept the work that is of interest to you.
Since many freelancers and independent contractors are self-employed, there are some other things to know.
- You’re responsible for your own taxes, including the self-employment tax.
- You don’t qualify for group benefits from an employer.
- You aren’t paid vacation time or sick time.
A steady paycheck can also be a challenge due to the nature of the gig economy. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
But Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?
There is one more option you should consider before deciding to strike out on your own as an independent contractor. If you work with a reputable staffing agency, like VincentBenjamin, you can accept assignments with established clients and work in a more traditional employment setting. This will give you all of the flexibility but none of the personal risk.