Women working in the short-term business world
Women have always been adaptable when it comes to getting things done. Think American frontier: Where, on any given day, you might be farming, shooting, sewing or whipping up a year’s supply of soap from wood ash and boiled animal entrails. Think World War II: When you rationed, nursed, piloted, soldered and riveted our way back to peacetime.
One newish aspect of life and work is the gig economy. In the Land of Gigging, the freelancer is queen and independent contractors are commonplace. In the gig economy, you pivot 180 degrees from more traditional employment with its eight-hour workdays and employer-sponsored benefits. In the gig economy, you trade on-site for online and cubicles for home offices, and you share studio space, conceive side hustles, and learn and teach new skills. In the gig economy, you compete for short-term assignments from your phone using apps such as Fiverr while waiting for your kids at the dentist’s office. In the gig economy, you add new layers by the second to the multitask onion.
The terrain can get rocky on Planet Gig, like when you’re only as secure as your current assignment and when you pore over the options at HealthCare.gov. Is there a surplus of gold watches now that employers have only four employees to hand them out to at retirement parties? And retirement – don’t even get me started on that topic.
According to what I read online, the term “gig economy” was coined in 2009 when the rains fell on the economy’s landscape, triggering a financial mudslide. People had to get inventive about how and where they worked because failure to do so could spell disaster.
Today, our overall financial health is said to be much improved, but a lot of us still find ourselves thrust into gig life due to job losses or other personal financial crises. On the bright side, the world is full of “overnight” successes who just kept gigging until the right people noticed. As the world of work evolves and more young people enter it, gigging should become a happy choice more often than it was for many of us who have been there since the beginning.
They say that the only constant is change. True or not, the women of the gig economy are making it better and stronger – no matter how they started out there.