The Gig Economy: What It Means for You

Posted on September 16, 2019

There’s a new module available on the University of Pretoria (UP) Ready for Work online programme. You can access the programme through the clickUP portal to learn valuable workplace skills that will make you an asset to any organisation. This module, however, is on the gig economy, an emerging self-employment trend, arising from choice as well as necessity.

A ‘gig’ is a work situation in which temporary positions are common and freelance professionals contract with organisations for short periods of time. The term comes from slang for a specific period of paid work and has most commonly been used for musicians. Freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires are all part of the gig economy.

The gig economy is becoming all the more important in an increasingly digital world that allows people to work from anywhere and at any time. This allows people a more balanced and flexible life but has the downside of not having a stable income or corporate benefits. The new Ready for Work professional online development module teaches you how to go about accessing the gig economy in a sustainable way.

The gig economy is set to become all the more important as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) gains traction. As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be able to do many manual tasks in traditional jobs human and professional skills will become increasingly in demand.

Skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, strategic thinking and using social media effectively will become all the norm since, in the gig economy, people will be looking for work opportunities rather than a job. Having a positive attitude towards finding work that fits your knowledge and skills in a variety of fields rather than just being employed by one employer requires a personality that is not averse to taking risks in order to thrive.

According to Dr Elmarie Liebenberg, UP’s Deputy Director of Career Services: “It is crucial for students to enrol in the Ready for Work programme to best understand how to make the most of the gig economy and more traditional jobs as well.”

Sign up for the Ready for Work programme on clickUP now to find out more about the gig economy and other tips to make yourself more employable in a field that is meaningful to you. It’s free for UP students and recent graduates can also do the course for up to a year after they graduate.

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