Finding Variety and Balance in the Gig Economy
The world of work is changing. Modern technology has allowed for far greater accessibility and the ability to work remotely. Our rapidly changing civilization also has less job security; the days of employees remaining at the same company for years are rapidly fading away. Despite the negatives, this is an opportunity to explore different jobs in a way that allows greater opportunities and flexibility compared to previous generations.
During the last 40 years in Canada, the population of workers with more than one job has doubled. This number is only expected to increase. This non-traditional way of working is a scary unknown, with weird hours, vast uncertainty, and fluctuating income. Conversely, this is a great opportunity to customize your work hours to suit your schedule and needs. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, find work that starts later in the day. If you live with depression or anxiety, find the number of shifts and times of day that allow you to work without being overwhelmed.
The gig economy is a great way to experience a variety of jobs. It has never been easier to juggle multiple titles. This is especially useful for discovering what kind of career path you want to pursue full-time. You can experiment with any job that looks intriguing on a part-time basis. There is less pressure to keep that job when you know that you have one or two others that you could supplement with more hours. This is also a great way to find jobs that match your physical or emotional needs. Multiple gigs allow you to discover the accessibility options that enable you to complete different tasks, as well as the environments and roles that best suit who you are.
It is important to go about doing this properly. Many people with a variety of jobs often feel stretched thin, stressed out, and uncertain about their goals. Ideally, you want to have a longer-term goal in mind while pursuing multiple positions – whether it is a specific career, or working towards a work-life balance and environment that suits who you are as a person and your accessibility needs. Make sure your different jobs complement each other. They should not conflict in scheduling, and each one should offer you something different to form a cohesive whole. One high-paying gig might have flexible hours and help pay off debt, while another allows you to have a unique work experience, and yet another connects you with the right people for your long-term goals.
Outside of work, make sure to maintain a healthy life balance. Take advantage of your unconventional work hours to make plans during the daytime and pursue other interests and hobbies. Make sure to be saving money into a Tax-Free Savings Account or Registered Retirement Savings Plan, and to deduct expenses for income made from freelancing when it comes time for taxes. Organize your time with a digital calendar with different colours for work, social plans, and time for yourself.
It is important to remember that a healthy life balance means not being consumed by work. The nature of work is destined to continue evolving. As machines take away more and more jobs, there is a greater likelihood that future generations will have more leisure time and the freedom to pursue their passions and interests. Take advantage of the present nature of work to explore your interests, needs, and what you want out of life. It is an exciting and terrifying adventure, and a unique journey for every one of us.
Augustine, Avery. “How to Balance Multiple Jobs (Without Losing Your Mind).” The Muse. https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-balance-multiple-jobs-without-losing-your-mind
Dolan, Ed. “More People Working Multiple Jobs – A Good Sign or a Bad One?”
Leong, Melissa. “Rise of the moonlighters: Why more Canadians are taking on side jobs and how to make it work for you.” Financial Post. https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/young-money/rise-of-the-moonlighters-why-more-canadians-are-taking-on-side-jobs-and-how-to-make-it-work-for-you