Millennials embrace the 'gig' economy

The days of straight 9 to 5 work days appear to be in the rear view mirror, and millennials are leading the change to shorter term work contracts, freelancing and more flexible work situations.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Millennials are leading the charge in a major workforce transformation. Instead of traditional 9-to-5 jobs, many are embracing the "gig economy" lifestyle, and pursuing meaningful work in less traditional settings.

Gig economy jobs generally features short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. 

"Professions vary greatly including contractors in many industries, freelancers, part-timers, looking for work when and where they wish and often for different employers during the course of a year," said Dan Ament, financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in Wayzata.

LinkedIn projects the gig economy will make up 43% of the U.S. workforce by the year 2020.

"Depending on your 'gig' endeavor, you will need to become your own CEO, CFO and Secretary," Ament warns.  "Tasks may include structuring agreements / contracts, setting payment terms and let's not forgot collecting payments.  A major concern for many is benefits - securing health care for you and your family as well as life insurance, disability insurance and other benefits you often have offered to you with a traditional employer.  You may also be filing taxes for your own business which will require you to acquire additional know-how or hire someone who can help guide you regarding business deductions and other planning regarding other financial matters.  Last but not least, don't forget about trying to set up a savings plan for your future!"

Those pursuing gig work will also want to make sure to set goals.

"Unlike the typical 9-5 job where your progress and results are under the watchful eye of a manager, it is important for those in the gig 'flexible' workforce become their own manager to establish goals and share them with a mentor or friend who will help keep you accountable," Ament said. "One university study estimated that individuals that simply wrote down their goals increased their success from 43% to 61%.  For those who made their goals public or provided updates to a supportive friend, their success rate rose to 76%."

Ament says you'll want to ask yourself several questions before switching to gig work: "Do you prefer variety in your work? Do you enjoy juggling multiple, unrelated work commitments? Are you self-motivated and disciplined enough to manage a schedule with ambiguous deadlines and demands? Does your personal life require a highly-structured schedule? Do you learn quickly and acclimate easily to new environments?  The more you plan and think through possible options and solutions, the better prepared you'll be to launch a successful career in the gig economy."

© 2017 KARE-TV


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