Opinion: Gig Culture by Megan Murphy
“I changed my entire professional trajectory by becoming a “gig worker” as opposed to taking the traditional route.”
Hi, I’m Megan Murphy and you might recognize me from EVA’s blogs over the past year.
Deciding to ditch my single full-time job for four “gigs” that I work on a consistent basis was one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past three years! Let me explain why.
Working my singular full-time job had its perks. I knew my co-workers well, I knew what I would be doing every time I clocked in, I knew what to expect financially, and I used to really love my commute to work every morning. I had time to work on my passions and hobbies when I got home and life seemed to be moving along at the same pace as everyone else.
But when the pandemic hit, I realized how miserable the stagnancy and mundanity of my traditional job was making me. I realized pretty early on during lockdown that I could be working on my passions more often and working at my own pace if I didn’t return to my traditional job.
So I took on two gigs at first while still working part time in person, and over time I let go of the traditional work altogether, in favor of working from home, on my own schedule.
I work remotely for 3 of the 4 “gigs”. Here’s what I love about it:
- Flexible scheduling – plenty of time for me to focus on my mental health and inner peace as opposed to adhering to someone else’s schedule.
- Better budgeting – I now get paid the same amount of money but on a different schedule which has allowed me to finally master budgeting my finances properly!
- Ability to feel passionate about my work – before I had to work no matter how I felt or how the project was set up. Now I can choose what I work on based on how I’m feeling. I’ve never missed a deadline and I feel freer than ever.
- No strings or contracts – I work these gigs because I want to and because I’m passionate about the work. I want what’s best for these companies as opposed to feeling forced to care. There’s no pressure here, and therefore, the urge to burn out or run away is no longer in my mind.
- No benefits – this isn’t a deal-breaker for me but I’m sure that for others, having no steady retirement fund or work-sponsored health benefits is too big of a risk.
- Hunting for work – if I didn’t have the steady gigs that I do, I’d be left to fend for myself on freelancing apps and that does seem a little stressful.
- Saving your own tax money – Before my check came with taxes paid, now it’s up to me to save the amount. This could be a problem for some if they aren’t as well structured as I’ve taught myself to be about money.
This is our final discussion on ways that virtual workers can outperform traditional workers, and we hope it’s given you something to think about!
Here’s a good article on the pros and cons of gig culture if you want to read further.
Would you leave a traditional job to work freelance instead? Leave a comment below.