With up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States engaged in some form of independent work, people are taking advantage of developing unconventional careers for the promise of work-life balance and flexibility. However, it can be stressful when you’re first starting out in the wild world of self-employment. How can you stay on track? Look no further – these are some helpful habits that successful gig workers employ in their everyday lives.
1. Establish a Routine
Gig work still requires serious dedication in order to see the results you want. Yes, you can set your own schedule, but it’s equally as important to establish a routine that keeps your goals in mind. If you’re not a morning person, maybe you should be.
How you start your day has a big impact on your productivity. It’s no secret successful people have relented getting up early kickstarts their proactive mindset in order to anticipate challenges and complete tasks for the day. So grab a quick shower and tackle your to-do list head-on.
2. Connect With Your People Regularly
Without a traditional workspace to call home, it can be isolating for gig workers who don’t work with the same group of people every day. In any case, you should connect with your support system regularly – if that’s family, friends, mentors, or old coworkers this will help you keep things in perspective.
On another level, a study shows initiating small talk with your contingent co-workers increases cognitive function which makes you better at your job. Relating to those around you builds healthy relationships which will help you work better in the long run as well.
3. Leverage Your Network
If you’re bagging groceries, crafting trendy lattés, or driving around unruly passengers late into the night, there are always opportunities in your field to reach for a leadership role or develop new skills. Ask for more responsibilities when working a shift, so your supervisor sees you’re ready to learn and willing to take an initiative.
Those relationships you created at your last gig? Reach out to them, and mention you’re interested in learning more about their trade. This will give you access to much better information and resources than a search engine ever could – for example, referrals. Referrals are like currency in the gig economy because clients are more likely to take a chance on you when recommended by someone they trust.
4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
In the gig economy, there will always be demand for reliable, experienced employees. What appeals to most recruiters are the soft skills gig workers have developed by being coachable, an open communicator, and having a good attitude. These skills can differentiate you in the gig economy and ensure you come out on top.
5. Do Your Taxes
Once you receive your W-2 or 1099 from your employer, file your taxes! Temporary workers have taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks while independent contractors must report their earnings and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their own. Make sure you understand the difference, so your employer doesn’t classify you incorrectly.
If you’re new to the gig economy, there are great resources out there to help you learn how to file your taxes as a gig worker because the best part is receiving your refund.
Be sure to think about adopting these habits when navigating the gig economy. Even though you can make your own hours, you still need to establish a routine and continue to network with employers in your area. Deploy by Shiftgig allows you to pick and choose from all the job opportunities you’re qualified for at multiple companies! Find an agency near you and apply today.