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How creatives graduating college can best navigate the gig economy

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Creatives graduating college are already entering a volatile job market. This is still only exacerbated by fears over student debt and more. But while the most lucrative long-term options might not be available, the gig economy is.

As we grow and continue to navigate the globe, we learn that it is paramount to move in multiple different directions. When we go through childhood and adolescence, the direction in which we move is normally chosen for us. 

gig economy
Pursuing your passion will never go out of style

Sequential movements in the gig economy allow for growth

The system continues to push its education agenda as one becomes an adult, thus making it seem as if that route is the only reputable choice for living.

The portion of our country that corporations fail to mention is the gig economy. Many students graduating college today are avoiding the 9-5 scheme in favor of pursuing passion projects and side hustles.

It is undeniable that the gig economy has represented emerging trends and occupational shifts since the turn of the century. The independent route has become prevalent and alternative work has continually increased with sharpness. 

“95 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.”

(Katz, Harvard)

The gig economy allows workers to make enough to pay their bills, all the while being apart of something that they truly care about. Not only that, but it provides workers with a sense of autonomy, flexibility and wherewithal to build independence.


Schools giving students the tools

Often times, coming fresh off a graduation can leave one feeling anxious and uncertain as to where they will collect a source of income.

Universities and colleges are doing their students a disservice if they never discuss the presence of our gig economy. Thankfully, there are some schools that ensure the “sunken feeling” of joblessness will never creep up.

gig economy
To best learn the ropes, start the climb.

At Baldwin Wallace, all musical theater majors will leave the university with an agent. At Babson College, there is an entire curriculum dedicated to the gig economy.

Also, at DePaul College, students can create connections and start gaining experience through a channel called, “The Gig Connection.” Some schools have created entire program wings titled, “Art Business Incubators.”

So clearly, the infrastructure is in place and there are programs available to help students navigate the gig economy. It all comes down to receiving exposure to valuable and realistic work situations.


The gig economy ingrains a sense of adaptability

Many gig economy workers are not considered entry-level candidates due to the transferable skills they have gained from these “secondary positions.”

Learning how to navigate the gig economy can provide intangible characteristics relating to independent contracting work, freelance or consultation. 

graduating college
If you work 9-5, take some time before and after every day to build your transition

The pivotal part about the gig economy is the available lessons and humble beginnings it provides.

The earlier you hop on the freelance wave, the better. Intrinsic inspiration often strikes the younger we are, so the sooner you are able to tap into your abilities the more likely you will succeed. 


The best form of protest is ownership

The gig economy allows those seeking a career to think for themselves as productive members of society. Rather than committing all their labor to the prospect of fulfilling someone else’s dream, freelancers chase their own bag.

They realize that this industry allows for greater vertical integration, accounts for market shifts, and makes it easier to change strategies. Working in the gig economy also helps individuals understand and interpret the needs of other workers, too. 

gig economy
The gig economy is swirling and it is rather easy to find your niche

Many people graduating college are turning to contingent work to fund their dreams and work toward becoming the sole proprietor of their efforts. To navigate the gig economy, start early.

Tap into your core and hone in on your craft from the infant stages and truly adore the process. Assess your strengths, values, and passions in order to steer through uncertainty.

Understand this – a transcript exemplifies dedication but a portfolio exemplifies self-application. Do More!

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Economy

MLB mental health crisis: Inside relief pitching gig economy

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Ryan Buchter, 34, has spent almost half his life pitching in professional baseball. In those 15 years, Buchter has been traded four times, released three times, changed organizations 10 times, pitched for teams in 22 cities and only once spent a full season in the majors without being demoted or released. What his itinerant playing record does not show is its cost: a drinking problem, depression and mental health issues that left him so wounded he is speaking out because he knows his story is too prevalent among ballplayers.



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Economy

New Labor Secretary Says Gig Economy Workers Should Be Classified As Employees | Fisher Phillips

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Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh didn’t beat around the bush when he provided his first public thoughts about the gig economy workforce since assuming office. In an interview with Reuters released on Thursday, Walsh said “in a lot of cases, gig workers should be classified as employees.” His comments should come as little surprise to those in the industry who have tracked his career and followed President Biden’s campaign promises to crack down on purported misclassification.

While he tried to strike a balanced tone – noting that in “some cases” gig workers are treated respectfully, and indicating that he didn’t “begrudge” any companies for raising revenue and making profits – his pointed comments send a direct signal to gig economy businesses that the Biden Department of Labor will soon ramp up efforts to force gig workers to be considered employees.

What Can We Expect?

Walsh said that he wants his agency to have conversations with gig economy companies in the coming months in an effort to ensure workers have access to the types of benefits that a typical employee might have: consistent wages, sick time, health care insurance, and similar benefits. While some business leaders have expressed hope that Walsh’s pragmatic streak demonstrated throughout his career as a union leader and mayor would carry over to the worker classification debate, it appears that he will push through an aggressive agenda on behalf of unions and workers.

First up? We can expect to soon see the DOL to formally rescind the Trump-era “gig economy rule” that was set to make it far easier to classify workers as independent contractors. In its place, the agency will no doubt release a new rule that will more closely align with the Biden administration’s aim to target misclassification and ensure as many workers as possible are considered employees. While litigation filed by business groups is ongoing in an attempt to revive the business-friendly version of the rule, gig economy companies cannot rely on this federal lawsuit to be a magic bullet to erase all concerns in this area.

Walsh also noted the success of the pandemic-related unemployment insurance program that ensured gig economy workers who were left without work could regain some of their lost income. “If the federal government didn’t cover the gig economy workers, those workers would not only have lost their job, but they wouldn’t have had any unemployment benefits to keep their family moving forward. We’d have a lot more difficult situation all across the country,” he said. But in expressing admiration for that legislation – which was paid for by massive stimulus spending bills approved by Congress – he didn’t expressly state how he would expect any future extension of UI benefits for gig workers to be funded or managed.

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GigIndia to provide Rs 3 lakh health insurance to gig workers- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Large scale job losses over the past few quarters has led to many taking up work in the rapidly expanding gig economy, but the unorganised nature of the same may leave a large majority of those workers outside the cover of the formal insurance market. GigIndia, a business-to-business gig marketplace for on-demand work completion, has announced that it will provide free Covid health insurance to active gig workers on its platform covering up to Rs 3 lakh in medical expenses.

The Pune-headquartered firm said in a release that it is offering this insurance coverage to active gig workers in order to make them feel relatively secure during these challenging times. The company also said that it is initiating efforts to ensure that certified ‘giggers’ on its platform continue to receive projects, thereby enabling a steady income.

“The Covid Health Insurance will ensure that medical costs are covered if any gig worker tests positive for Covid-19. We are also providing financial assistance to gig workers, which will help them with essential expenditure such as hospital charges, oxygen cylinders and ventilators, among others,” said Sahil Sharma, Co-founder & CEO, GigIndia.

In addition to the Rs 3 lakh covid health insurance, the company has also set up an internal Rs 10 lakh covid relief fund for gig workers in need, he said, noting that unlike full-time white/grey collar workers, giggers typically do not receive social security benefits. 

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