It is safe to say that many millennials have taken a different approach when it comes to earning income. Many young professionals are opting out of working a typical nine-to-five office job like their parents and the manual labor jobs that their grandparents once worked, for a more flexible and desired schedule.
Instead, millennials are taking a more entrepreneurial approach to income generation, by creating their own income streams in what is being called the “gig economy.”
To be clear, the idea of the gig economy is not an entirely new concept — it is a free-market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.
Jobs held by actors, construction workers, and commercial drivers are all traditional examples of gig-economy positions. In fact, when people used to refer to the gig economy, it usually meant low wages, labor-intensive work without the rainy day relief of benefits and healthcare.
Yet, the possibilities for internet-savvy millennials to make serious cash have truly become endless with the height of social media, as well as a melding of journalism, marketing, and public relations into a rich microcosm involving original content creation, brand engagement, and influence marketing.
All within a click of a button, making money online has become one of the most popular ways to create additional streams of income. The opportunities have gotten so vast that it is redefining how we talk about gig economy.
Millennials have leveraged the power of social media to achieve global influence which they convert into big dollars by posting ads for companies, donning clothing brands, using new products, and even playing video games online.
Acquiring this type of flexibility has become highly desired among young adults, especially since millennials in the workforce are more likely to change jobs or employers quickly when compared to previous generations. Working for a company for 30-40 years is not the lifestyle that many millennials are willing to adopt.
Of course, working in the gig economy has its share of perks but it still also possesses many of the pitfalls before social media has glamorized the industry sector.
Entrepreneurship is by no means easy and usually requires quite a bit more discipline, self-control and personal accountability than being employed.
Additionally, working independently also may not provide the long-term incentives working for a company ensures. For example, retirement and maintaining a healthy 401K plan matched by an employer is one of the sacrifices of entrepreneurship.
Further, while millennials are the most educated generation, many millennials have taken on thousands of dollars in student loan debt, which clearly puts many of these millennial professionals at a disadvantage even before they enter the workforce.