Who’s Your Retirement Role Model?
April 16, 2018
Preparing Well for the Soft Side of Retirement
April 23, 2018

The Gig is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs are Obsolete and Freelancing is the Future

By Olga Mizrahi (2018 – Greenleaf Book Group Press)

In Short

If you’re following along, you’ll be familiar with a few central facts of life today. The first is that people are working longer. In fact, many want to work longer, not just for financial reasons, but for the benefits of continued engagement and satisfaction. In fact, for most people, retirement today will include work of some kind. The second fact of life is that the nature of work has changed and continues to evolve. Perhaps the biggest shifts are the decline of the traditional employment arrangement and the explosive growth of the “gig” economy. One recent study found that most of the job growth following the 2008 financial crisis has come in the form of alternative employment arrangements – and especially among older workers. Looking forward, Mizrahi quotes a McKinsey study that projects that as many as 50% of jobs in the future are likely to be freelance arrangements. Finally, the third fact of life is that working in the gig economy requires specific skills, many of which are different from those you honed during your corporate career.

Enter Olga Mizrahi. Her book is an easy-to-read and comprehensive guide to how to not only work in the gig economy but how to thrive in it.  If you’re considering continuing to work in retirement as a consultant, contractor or are transitioning from corporate life today, you’ll find this a valuable resource.

Takeaways

  • Think big. The gig economy is much more than Uber drivers. Many corporations have sizable “contingent” project-based workforces that can offer you, though consulting or contracting work, a meaningful path to monetize your expertise and experience, while creating greater flexibility.However, it’s not without its challenges. Mizrahi highlights key ones such as managing your time setting boundaries and setting up key systems to handle things others used to do for you – and suggests practical strategies to manage them.

 

  • Be prepared for a different work experience. What’s different about work in the gig economy? You’re really on your own. Things you may have come to take for granted in your work life are simply not there any longer. Gone. Benefits? On your own. ? Support services? Gone. Olga offers recommendations on savvy way to replicate what you need. She also offers counsel how to approach common ethical situations that you may encounter as an alternative worker.

 

  • Should you go solo or build a company?Are you are better suited going solo as a consultant or do you have what it takes to run your own business? They are clearly different paths and this book offers a useful questionnaire that generates insights to consider.

 

  • Why Would a Company Hire You? Do you know what truly separates you from your competition? It’s a crucial factor in the gig economy and Mizrahi includes an exercise to help you begin to crystalize it.

 

Kickstarter Idea

Olga Mizrahi has a clear recommendation on where to start – step back and assess your skill set and what differentiates you from others. She includes useful worksheets to begin that process.

 

As a veteran of the gig economy as a consultant, I can attest to the value of the advice in this book. My only wish is that it was around 9 years ago when I had made the transition. If you’re thinking about how to leverage your skills part-time or more in your Second Act, this book can give you a head start.

– Joe Casey

Joe Casey is an executive coach, who also helps people think through and create their Second Acts, at retirementwisdom.com

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