Life as a gig worker can be hectic. There is never enough time to reflect on accomplishments or new skills because of the dedication and focus. Should you transition to traditional employment and begin to write a new resume, or prepare for an interview, it can be hard to accurately capture the breadth of your skills. Soft skills, such as negotiation and problem solving, are essential in almost every field. Chances are good that you have some pretty solid soft skills if you’ve been working in the gig economy. Use the ideas below to highlight your successes on resumes or cover letters and remember that regardless of what you do for a living, soft skills are key to taking your career to the next level.
Starting out as a freelancer or a gig worker is hard. The uncertainty of future projects, fluctuating incomes, and general variance of so many aspects of the job make it all the more stressful. But remember that as you get through the rough times and learn how to navigate new obstacles, you are constantly problem solving. You know how to adapt to whatever life throws at you. If one strategy doesn’t work, then you will keep that in mind when you try again. When push comes to shove, you find a way to overcome challenges, learn strategies for the next hurdle, and keep moving. That is what problem solving is all about. Remember the struggle, remember the changes, and make your story heard to share how you problem solved through every hiccup.
From the outside, it can seem like everything about the gig economy or the gig work lifestyle fluctuates. It is true that adaptability is key to making it in the gig economy. We can never expect things to always go our way. Knowing when to push, keep going, then in contrast, knowing when to hold back and change the plan will allow people the emotional stability to continue on in this economy. Do not underestimate the sacrifices that you have made, the plans you have had to change, and the different paths you have taken to try and reach your goal. Remember to highlight the accommodations you made for each gig, the extra mile you put in for each delivery, and all the changes you adapted to in order to keep moving forward.
When you begin as a freelancer, finding your own clients is a hard but a necessary start to establish your reputation in the industry. As you seek out different communication channels to reach as many potential clients as possible, you may subconsciously start to think about all the ways you can provide value. You put in the extra work to obtain that client, to make them satisfied with your work, and to get your foot through the door of the gig economy. Thinking on the long-term, always looking to provide that value, and doing whatever necessary to get to where you want to be, demonstrates goal-oriented thinking. Even if one client does not see your value, you have to be resilient and either keep pushing or move on. Make note of what decisions you make and why you make them. You will be surprised that even if the answer is as simple or demanding as needing to pay rent, you are constantly exhibiting goal-oriented behavior.
Perhaps one of the most important skills you will practice as a gig worker is knowing how to learn. No matter what stage you are in your career, there will be times when you do not know how to do something, when you need to upskill, or when you said you could do something but did not know exactly how you were going to deliver. These scenarios are not limited to gig workers, but without a corporate structure able to provide you with the guidance to help, your self-learning abilities are put to the test with every new challenge you face. When you encounter these situations, it may be tempting to hurry, learn and move on. But a good practice to demonstrate your self-learning abilities in the future is to be able to articulate each problem, the solution, and most importantly the concrete steps you took to mitigate similar problems in the future. That way, anytime an interviewer asks about a time you were faced with a challenge, you will have a plethora of stories in your back pocket.
No matter where in your career you are, remember that you are constantly putting to practice the soft skills desired by employers. It may be tempting to go through the motions and skip the reflection, but taking the time to understand your struggle and how you conquered it can help you grow as a worker and a potential employee. These 4 listed are only a few of the skills that gig workers in particular often practice on a regular basis. So keep track of your journey, remember the struggle, and check back often for more resources to help you succeed in the gig economy.
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