ICBA Blog

Read What’s Hot Around the Web: July 2019

A roundup of independent contractor news and insights

We’ve curated some of the top topics circulating the web regarding the gig economy over the last month. In this installment we cover finding work on multiple gig apps, the ins and outs of client relationships, leveraging all of your talents, climbing the various rungs on the freelance ladder, the bright sides of the gig economy, and the future of independent contractor work. Plus, we include a fun piece about a gig-working Sim.

The app life. Is it for you?

From doing rideshare to charging scooters to dog walking, 31-year-old William Neher is the quintessential on-demand gig worker. About three years ago, he left traditional full-time employment and shift work to earn income solely through apps. He says he thrives on the hustle and the “puzzle.” This Vox piece features an interview with Neher and insight into the pros and cons of the apps he uses and the structure of gig life.

Building client-contractor relationships that work

The secret’s out. More and more companies are turning to independent contractors to do their labor. But after managing employees for so long, businesses aren’t necessarily skilled at fostering relationships with the freelance workforce. Although this Fast Company piece offers advice to the clients who are doing the hiring, it can also serve as a checklist for freelancers who want to be sure they are working with only the best clients who will treat them well.

Are you a “slashie” and you didn’t even know it?

Take a look at your business card. Does it have slashes on it? Examples: “singer/songwriter/piano teacher” or “writer/ghostwriter/editor/instructor” or “photographer, graphic designer, illustrator.” Or maybe you do so many different things that you’re not even sure how to fit your services on a card. If so, you’re what the Brits call a “slashie.” And according to this Bustle article, more independent contractors are opting for this fragmented way of work to pursue passions, increase flexibility, and find fulfillment while earning income. The slashie lifestyle leverages your multiple talents instead of pigeonholing yourself into one career.

Climb your way up the freelance ladder with these tips.

In this Lifehacker article, freelance journalist Nicole Dieker outlines the levels you need to climb to boost your career. Although the piece is geared toward writers, her advice rings true for other industries. If you treat the growing process like graduating school grades or mastering levels in a videogame, you’ll work your way to a solid and semi-stable income. Freelancing will feel less like a hustle with each level and more like a robust profession.

The continuous gig-work conversation. What does it mean for you?

As the gig economy grows through the proliferation of gig-finding apps and as more and more people leave full-time, salaried positions in favor of freelance work, the conversation about the gig economy continues. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Really, each individual needs to determine what’s right for them. While covering both sides, this Townhall opinion piece places a focus on the plusses of the gig economy and how even a foray into app work can be the catalyst for a person’s entrepreneurial growth. In short, any independent contractor initiatives can lead to bigger and better things for individuals if they enjoy the lifestyle and have found corporate or traditional work to lack opportunity or fulfillment.

A positive look at the next generation of freelancers.

Have you ever been asked, “When are you going to get a real job?” Well, you can rest-assured the attitude toward freelance work is changing. This Forbes contributor network piece paints a picture of what the next generation of freelancing will look like. And the landscape is good. Companies will covet freelancers from around the globe and view them as individuals who are best leveraging their talents. Independent contractors will band together to create collectives to provide team approaches to projects. And freelancing will serve as both an exit strategy from unfulfilling careers and as a springboard to other lucrative positions. Individuals will move across a continuum of independent contractor and salaried work without anyone batting an eyelash about work history.

And now for a little fun . . .

Even the virtual folk on The Sims (a life simulation game) are enjoying the independent contractor life. In this The Outline piece, you can read about how Emma Grillo gave her Sim the career of freelance writer, just like herself. Her Sim writes listicles and completes other writing-related projects, earning Simoleans (currency). Grillo learns that freelance Sim life is a lot like real life—in which the work happens at weird hours, deadlines can be stressful, and rejection can sting. This insightful piece offers a little solidarity in the freelance hustle.