Workplace: Gig

Have you heard the term “gig”? It is increasingly in daily use when describing work and work-related objects. The ways in which the word gig gets used in today include the following.

  • Gig. A temporary work assignment that may last an hour, a week, or a lifetime but that provides no ongoing job security.
  • Gig: work that occurs on a contract or freelance basis that is short-term and holds no promise of repeat work (although it may result in repeat work).
  • Gig: tech-speak for a gigabit (1 million bits) or gigabyte (8000 million bits) of storage capacity.
  • Gig: A musical or theatrical work event for which a person or group may or may not be paid.
  • Little-known uses of gig: a two wheeled, one horse carriage; or something that whirls.
  • Gig economy: today’s work-world reality of holding multiple, short-lived and/or long-term jobs in order to pay bills and put food on our tables.

While a gig may sound glamorous, fun, and flexible, it is also challenging, exhausting, and hard to count on for ongoing work. The flexibility of doing gig work comes along with the downside of not knowing just how much money you’ll make each week. For some, gig work simply does not suit their personalities or lifestyles. For others, the adrenaline and challenge of gig work feeds their souls. And for still other people, gig work is simply reality and the whole family is involved in making it work; covering child-care; staggering shifts so someone is always at home; expecting siblings to help carry the load of home- and child-care.

Decades ago, Tom Peters wrote “Brand You” describing what individuals need to do to promote themselves in a topsy-turvy, no longer loyal to loyal employees workplace. Brand You is critical to develop in today’s gig economy. Showcase your skills, work experience, subject matter expertise, and your work ethic. Describe how you work – individually, collaboratively, teamwork, or what your strengths are. Illustrate your successes and achievements in words, images, and photographs. Again, Brand You matters greatly in the gig economy – your brand will get you hired, or not.

What gig are you working? What gig(s) do you want to be working? What’s your brand and how are you promoting yourself?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore    what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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