As a gig worker, you are your boss. You have the flexibility to choose your hours and the autonomy to decide where and when you want to put in work. With the gig economy booming, it’s more important than ever to invest in yourself and grow your business to remain competitive. Upskilling and the marketing of your skills are essential to gaining employment. Here are 5 ways to upskill in our gig economy today.
Research the industry and emerging technologies
The future of business is technology – and the best way to upskill yourself is to keep up to date with the latest programs and innovations. Get familiar with web and mobile applications to improve your digital skills and invest in yourself. The easiest place to begin is by exploring what is available on your electronic devices such as your laptop or smartphone. Dive into Microsoft Office to get a good understanding of the mainstream programs used in most industries, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. These are great applications to put on your resume/CV to show your employer that you’re tech-savvy. Mastering the use of spreadsheets is a specialized skill that can help improve the efficiency of data-based work, whether for personal use or in a workplace setting.
Go one step further by familiarizing yourself with collaboration and communication tools such as emails, Slack and Zoom to be well prepared for any online interaction. By improving your digital skills, you can easily adapt to any nature of business and quick changes that may arise – which is crucial in any project. Additionally, you will be a leader in the gig economy by driving it forward with your management and technical skills.
Use your gigs to expand your network
An incredible benefit to independent work is the opportunity to meet lots of new people from different countries, cultures, and races that you may have never met before. Keep your heart open and make connections with the people you encounter! Through multiple interactions, you can practice reading people and situations, improve your social skills, practice active listening, and learn how to ask the best questions. These are necessary skills to expand your network, and will take you far when it comes to networking at workshops, seminars, or conferences – and ultimately, at interviews for any future gigs. Check out our past blog post on how to best grow your network to learn more about the power of networking!
Update your resume/CV
To get the most business, it’s important to keep your resume updated. This will make it easier for you to land jobs quicker and let potential clients know about you easily. In Canada, it’s best to keep personal info (age, gender, etc.) off your resume and a picture of yourself is not required. Try to be precise and concise with your language and stick to the facts, such as how you efficiently used a budget to complete a project, and your specialized skills. Above all, make sure your resume is organized, professional, and includes gigs that you have done most recently!
Manage your time and utilize all resources available to you
As your own boss, it’s up to you to assess the opportunity cost of learning new skills with potentially missed freelance opportunities – and this can be difficult. However, through careful research and optimizing your time management skills, you can take advantage of the many online resources available to look for new skills to learn. These days, many universities and websites, such as LinkedIn Learning, offer free or low cost online courses that teach a wide range of skills, from UI/UX design and coding to photography and marketing skills. Don’t be afraid to diversify the courses you choose to learn. With our society becoming more digital, creative digital skills are a must to market yourself effectively. You might even find a new hobby through digital learning, or discover that you are a natural marketer!
Join a community of growth
Traditional forms of employment establish a professional environment for employees to develop their skills. However, for gig workers, the opportunities to upskill through work are limited, since gigs are usually short and don’t offer employment benefits such as leadership training workshops, or a team of coworkers to bounce ideas off of at morning meetings. Fortunately, in our digital age, you can join many online communities of gig workers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other forums. These groups are a great way to hear stories from other gig workers about how they run their own businesses, from financial management to industry news. Being part of a community also has tremendous benefits to one’s mental health, and can help combat the isolation felt when doing individual gig work. Apart from online communities, keeping in touch with peers and family members can keep you motivated to drive forward in your self-development and encourage your upskill journey.
Which upskilling tip was your favorite? Keep checking in with Moves for more resources to help you succeed in the gig economy.