While full-time jobs have long been the symbol of “making it” career wise, professionals are finding that in today’s economy, gig work is what brings home the bacon.
The pandemic has led to the popularity of high-end side gigs within consulting, marketing, writing, and project management industries, and some professionals making this career shift are reporting six-figure salaries.
Gig work has historically been viewed as an outlet for those who are struggling to balance various responsibilities and need flexibility to manage their personal and work lives.
However, top talent are now eyeing the perks of gig work, including flexible schedules, more pay, and control over how much they work.
Although the number of US workers that categorize themselves as freelancers remained at 36% last year, the amount of professionals performing high-end gig work grew according to data from Upwork.
According to the Upwork survey, almost 80% of respondents said having a say in their schedule was the main motive for opting for freelancing.
Companies can benefit, too. By dipping into the gig work talent pool, organizations have a better chance of diversifying their workforce and filling in job openings.
“I’d be bored if you gave me a full-time job now,” said Krish Venkata, who became an independent consultant last March.
Now, Venkata says he makes twice as much working one or two three-month-long projects compared to when he was working a full-time job.
However, he added that there are downsides, such as lacking job security and working longer hours from home. Still, his newfound work-life balance and ability to work towards personal hobbies appears to outweigh any disadvantage.