19 Jan 2021
09 Dec, 2020
BY Guest Contributor
For independent workers, an active job search can feel like it’s cutting into their working hours. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, and there is room to balance working and job searching in the gig economy today. The reason independent workers are always on the lookout for additional jobs is so they can meet their ideal level of income. It can feel exhausting, though, and if it’s causing you a lot of stress it could be time for a better level of balance.
Creating a niche can help, as can focusing your time and efforts in more direct ways. Here’s how you can get that balance.
As part of an active job search, you want to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. That can help you determine if there are a lot of jobs out there, or just a few of them. If the market is flooded with jobs, you can probably be more selective in applying than you can if there are only a few jobs available.
It’s always nice to have the opportunity to be selective, but it’s not always possible to do that when you need to pay bills and there are few jobs available. The number of jobs typically available in your field or industry is something you want to know as you make plans for bill payment, savings, and other parts of your financial life.
Some gig workers like jobs that have recurring or on-going shifts. Others want to find gigs that are one-time only so they can move to better opportunities more easily. There’s no right or wrong answer, and the best way to handle this issue is to choose the kinds of jobs or gigs that you like best or feel most comfortable with. Focus on those, and filter out the rest.
When you choose a short-term gig, just remember that you’ll need to pull some of your focus from it to keep an eye out for more gigs. With a long-term gig you’ll have a little more stability. But that doesn’t always equal happier working hours or a better financial outlook. Only you can decide which kinds of gigs work the best for your needs.
It can be tempting to burn bridges if you really don’t like a gig, but it’s better to leave a good impression. If you don’t completely shut those doors, you can re-open them later if needed. Build relationships and network with other gig workers and clients so you have a wider range of opportunities. That can help your active job search and make it easier to find the work you need to pay your bills.
In short, keep a careful watch on gig jobs in your area or field of interest. Decide if you want a long-term gig or plenty of short-term ones. Make sure you’re positioning yourself in a way that makes you re-hireable in the future. Your energy is limited, and when you spend it wisely you’ll be able to give yourself the options and flexibility you’re really looking for as a gig worker.
About the Author: Michelle Dakota Beck has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has written everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, home services, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues. You can find her on WriterAccess.