The Gig Economy is ripe with new opportunities for older workers.
Gig working or the Alternative Workforce (aka, freelancing, contracting, crowd working) can be an opportunity to get around ageism, find a way to earn money vs. traditional employment (and a challenging job search), allow for flexible hours and lifestyle.
Gig workers are in high demand. Especially professional, highly-skilled, and experienced workers. It’s not just a millennial or GenZ thing either. “Older” gig workers virtually equal the number of younger ones and that ratio is growing.
Freelancing, contractor, temp worker, whatever, Gig working is here to stay and growing (just look at Upwork or Fivver for a taste) and it may just be right for your New Way Forward.
Take a look at what other’s are doing:
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Podcast Transcript: The Gig Economy – New Opportunities for Older Workers
Helping you find your new way forward to the best years of your life. This is a new way forward podcast with Paul Long. Let me let you in on a little secret a secret solution to getting income. Maybe because you can’t find a job for whatever reason, including ageism. Or maybe you don’t want full time employment and you want something different than things of that sort. It’s called gig working, and it’s really no secret. In fact, it contributes over one trillion dollars to the economy in the United States. Gig working well, I’m going to have a really good explanation of a nice four minute video that MarketWatch put together on it. The gig working, especially if you’re older, can be really, really successful solution because right now, boomers and millennials are almost equal in the percentage of gig workers, and you’ll see in the video that’s expected to grow. And that’s just boomers. Gen Xers, it’s whatever age now. One distinction I want to make right off the top there I characterize as two different kinds of gig workers are two different levels. There’s the lower professional level, which isn’t saying anything negative, but that’s the Uber and Lyft driver that’s reading about a guy. The other day, the section made over 100 grand, being a grocery shopper for one of those grocery delivery services and other such jobs that don’t require a lot of professional credentials. What’s the other half those that do? And so many people have been doing that. You can be anywhere in the world. I’ve worked with gig workers in multiple countries around the world that have almost every kind of skill set experience and expertise that you can possibly imagine. And that can be you too. But first of all, let’s get some foundational information from this clip from MarketWatch.
The alternative workforce really started around the time of the financial crisis, when people were looking for jobs and they were willing to engage in alternative work arrangements. Then it became more formal as technologies and companies like Upwork and Fiverr allowed organizations to connect to the alternative workforce. There are four categories within the alternative workforce. Freelancers and contractors are rewarded based on the time they put in. Maybe it’s by the hour, maybe it’s by the day. The difference between freelancers and contractors one’s paid independently to themselves, and one is paid through the contracting organization. Then you have the gig workers. These are individuals that are paid for their project or for the task for which they’re assigned. And then finally, we have the crowd. Those individuals are paid for their ideas and the outcomes of those ideas, often in a competition format. Oftentimes, I hear organizations say, should I hire alternative workforces because they’re less expensive or I don’t need to provide benefits. But the reality is is that the alternative workforce is critical to filling the skills gap that we have today. We’re in a tight talent market. Deloitte’s research shows that sixty seven percent of organizations can’t find the skills to fill the jobs that they have available.
Another misconception about the alternative workforce is that it’s reserved for the millennials or the younger populations, but there are a number of boomers that are available in the workforce today. Thirty five percent of full time alternative work arrangements are actually filled by the boomer generation. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that by twenty fifty, we’re going to see a seventy five percent increase in workers who are sixty five or older. Contrast that with only a two percent increase in those workers between the ages of twenty five and fifty four. And we can see that boomers are going to be a huge part of the workforce moving forward. We’re currently at an inflection point where organizations are using the alternative workforce not as a side hustle, but as a strategic part of their business strategy and as we see more and more organizations engaging with the alternative workforce. Nearly 30 percent of our Fortune 500 companies are using them today. We’re going to increasingly see alternative workforce being used for more strategic work and becoming a bigger and bigger part of the workforce. Moving forward,
Gig working is here and it’s only going to grow. It can make so much sense for businesses to use gig workers because they don’t have to make the commitment of employment and the cost for them are so much lower. Well, also to a lot of gig workers on the professional end of things end up getting hired because it’s like, I love this person. I was able to try them out and it can make so much sense for you, especially if you’re older. I mean, it’s a way to get around, you know, the ageism situation that a lot of employment opportunities. Well. Why there are non opportunities and it gives you tons of flexibility, you can still make substantial amounts of money doing it, and it can be flexible. That’s what a lot of people are looking at. A lot of people are resigning their jobs at all ages because they’ve had it with that grind. And that’s not to say that if you’re a contract worker or a freelancer or whatever that they aren’t going to be times where it’s going to be intensity, everything. But in my experience, I mean, I’ve been doing it for thirty five years. I call myself self-employed, but you know, it’s one project at a time. Granted, I got in with certain clients, established a relationship, kept that relationship going just as any supplier to a business would do.
And I mean, it’s worked out for me. My oldest son in Denver is a it’s a contract worker and he loves it, and he gives them some flexibility for his outdoor lifestyle, which is why he moved out to Denver. So if you’re interested in this, I mean, this is something you could start salivating over. This is something that could give you the options even like to pivot. Let’s say that you know you’re a pretty good artist and you’ve got a good eye for things, but your career husband is an accountant and you’re like, I really want to do that, and I still need to earn a living well with a lot of these things. And even if it’s something that you’re good at, you may have to up your skills. And by the way, as you might know, being certified and is so easy to get certified by reputable firms online for, you know, a few hundred bucks a week or two worth of work. Certifications are huge, experience is good, but a lot of that just totally outweighs, you know, your education and you’re going to have to get in the groove with it now to do it online. You’ve got indeed, and you’ve got fiber and you need to go on there and see what other people are doing.
And those two sites can give you guidance. And or I mean, not all gig working is just online. Sometimes it’s a mix. Sometimes you know, it’s I’m a contractor as a nursing assistant in a hospital or something like that. There’s there’s the full range of things, but you’re still going to want to network. You’re going to want to personal brand yourself. What do I mean by that? You’ve got a really sound smart LinkedIn site with all of your experience and what your value is, connecting the dots of the value that you bring to the potential employer and you’re regularly posting, come on couple two or three times a week, even if it’s just sharing an article or somebody else’s post and putting some thoughts on there, that’s showing a potential company that’s going to hire you for their work. And they will be looking at you on LinkedIn that you’re engaged, you’re involved, you’re up to date on things. And by the way, if you’re older, that’s the number one admitted reluctance of hiring managers to hire somebody older. It’s probably really ageism notice, I said admitted, is that I say the very a lot of our candidates that come in here, they’re not up to date. I mean, you look at their social, you look at their resume, you look at the way they are and you say these people are enough to speed.
And so they’re not going to fit in well with other people on the team. And they’re probably not going to be up to speed on the technology and the ethos of the way things are nowadays. So all of those things start researching it, go to the gig sites and see what other people are doing and learn what those are. Make sure that you’re up to date on your skills and where possible, have a certification. Get your LinkedIn all set up and ready to go and up to date and two or three times a week minimum post something. Share something it doesn’t take much. A few words like, Hey, I really found this article, which is about what I’m offering, you know, my my sector really helpful. What do you think? That’s all you have to do, and that shows that you’re engaged in. You’re up to speed and then network network network. And it can be something that you develop into not only a way to earn a living, but to support the kind of lifestyle and the thing that you want to do. Gig working might truly be a wonderful answer and a huge part of your new way forward. You’ve been listening to a new Way Forward podcast with your host, Paul Long.