Surviving in the Gig Economy

A few folks have asked why I haven't been writing much lately. Honestly, I've been working on a few code projects, which has left me less time for writing blog posts. But! I have been writing; it just hasen't been here on the blog.

Over the past month or so, I've had two articles get published over on Todoist. One involved how to promote yourself at work. The one I want to talk about today was all about the changing job landscape. After getting published on Todoist, it was picked up by Fast Company as well, which is a first for me.

Here's the cliff notes version of the changing job landscape and how to prepare.

The job market is changing in at least these ways:

  • Job hopping is becoming more common.
  • Freelancing is becoming a viable option for many.
  • Remote work and flexible schedules are only going to rise in popularity.
  • The job you do in 20 years will likely be vastly different than what you're doing now, and in many cases, it probably hasn't been invented yet.

Related to that last bullet point, I loved this quote from Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari about the future of the job market:

Nobody really knows what the world and the job market will look like in 2040, hence nobody knows what to teach young people today. Consequently, it is likely that most of what you currently learn at school will be irrelevant by the time you are 40. So what should you focus on? My best advice is to focus on personal resilience and emotional intelligence…By 2040…the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves again and again.

Yuval Noah Harari

That echoes many of the same sentiments I shared over on Todoist.

So, how exactly should you prepare for the changing economy? I laid out two specific suggestions.

The first suggestion is to master your craft:

The trick is honing and refining your craft so that when the opportunity rolls around, you’re the default choice for companies looking to hire.

This involves defining what "good" means for your craft, targeting a niche market, and becoming "so good they can't ignore you" to borrow an often repeated quote from Steve Martin. I lay out some specific suggestions in the article, but the takeaway is this – focus on becoming a rockstar in your chosen field.

The second suggestion involves honing your reputation.

Once you develop your craft and become the best in your chosen field, the next step is to make sure everyone knows it.

Honing your reputation involves Googling yourself, building your portfolio, and narrowing your target audience.

I ended the piece with this statement: "Success is largely up to you." I believe it's completely within your power to hone your craft and become a master. You just have to put in the work.

If you want to read the full post on Todoist including all of the suggestions, you can check it out here. One cool bit that's not immediately obvious, instead of paying me, they donate $300 to Girls Who Code for every piece I write. It's an awesome cause to support!