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Information technology professionals are in enormous demand right now. This is especially true of cloud computing IT and DevOps specialists of all stripes.
I think we would all agree that many IT workers have discovered the gig economy and are taking huge advantage of it. Like everything, though, there can also be a downside.
So what does it all mean for IT workers in general?
In this post, we’ll explore these four critical aspects of the gig economy:
- What Exactly is the Gig Economy?
- What Are the Pros and Cons?
- How Can IT Workers Take Advantage of the Opportunities?
- Summing It All Up
So let’s dive right in!
What Exactly is the Gig Economy?
Definition of a gig economy:
economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector
“One reason the gig economy has taken off: People tend to change jobs more frequently, and many enjoy the flexibility of choosing when and where they work.”
— Marcia Pledger
In the IT world, the opportunities for gig work, or contract work, have exploded over the last several years. The whole evolution of cloud computing and the virtual workplace has created a positive feedback loop of sorts. The larger the virtual workforce gets, the more IT people are required to provide technology services.
As a result, contract staffing and contract work opportunities abound for IT professionals.
For information technology workers, freelancers and contractors can determine their hours, work location, clients, and sometimes even rates in the gig economy.
So you’re not committed to one company or project for an extended period of time. Contract workers and staff typically have the luxury of choosing their work hours and locations. This flexibility can make them more marketable to employers, depending on circumstances.
IT contract, aka gig, work tends to be more project-based than classic IT. So gig workers may be working multiple engagements with multiple clients at the same time.
Sound Good So Far?
So what are the pros and cons?
We’ve covered a lot of the pros, so what’s the downside?
Gig workers don’t have a guaranteed paycheck every week or month, especially if they’re only working on one project. Since the work is on a contract basis, aka “1099 work”, there are no ancillary retirement, paid vacation, or healthcare benefits that a full-time employee would typically receive.
The contractor is responsible for providing their own payroll and income taxes, health insurance benefits, etc.
How Can IT Workers Take Advantage of the Opportunities?
There are many ways to participate in the gig economy. Gigs can include short and long-term project work, temp, temp-to-hire, and contract work of many different types.
Jobs can range from fractional CIO/CTO positions to temporary coding gigs and everything in between.
Forbes online reported that in the United States alone, it’s estimated that the gig economy will contribute over $1 trillion to the United States economy in 2021.
As an IT professional, you have to set your work parameters, like how many hours per week you are willing to work, your hourly rate, etc.
Having a focused staffing agency could be the edge you’re looking for. Typically an agency will have reputable clients with sustainable, ongoing opportunities for IT professionals looking to participate in the gig economy.
Summing It All Up
The gig economy provides income, choices, and flexibility that IT professionals may not find in full-time positions. They can shape their entire professional career around their personal preferred work-lifestyle balance.
As an alternative, they can use contract work to supplement their income and create new work opportunities that they never even knew existed!
Consider engaging with an established recruiting and staffing agency to help you enter the gig economy on your terms. A good recruiting firm can streamline your search for great gig work.
We Can Help You Find a Job in This Economic Climate
Are you an IT professional looking for temporary, contract, or permanent work?
At Patel Consultants, we help IT professionals, just like you find that perfect job or gig every day!