ICBA Blog

Read What’s Hot Around the Web: July 2021

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 predictions for the future of the gig economy, what to do if you constantly trudge through work tasks in slow motion, why you should review your budget at mid-year, and how to use freelance business tools. Plus, we look at the realities of being a freelancer and offer expert advice on what to do when you start out on your own.

Predicting the future of the gig economy

Now that we’re living in a (somewhat) post-pandemic world, everyone wants to know what’s next regarding the future of work. This Rolling Stone article shares professional insights from nine business leaders who predict what’s to come for the gig economy. Highlights include their take on unionizing for stable pay and healthcare, experience-based learning for the next generation, and an increase in baby boomers venturing out into freelance work.

What to do if you’re chronically tired

After a grueling year of struggles and losses, taking care of our health has never been more important. If you find yourself constantly reduced to slow motion in your work tasks but are unsure why, read this article from Real Simple. It explains the difference between sleepiness and fatigue and suggests tips on how to feel refreshed, such as setting boundaries to your work schedule and allocating time to relax before bed to promote more restful sleep.

Reviewing your budget

Have you noticed higher prices at the gas pump, your favorite restaurants, and more? This Vox article explains why, and a lot of it has to do with increased strain on the complex global supply chain.

Do you need ideas for cutting costs? July is the perfect time to review your finances from the first half of the year and budget for the second half. This Money article includes tips and to-dos for spending, saving, and budgeting, including why it’s necessary to think about taxes halfway through the year. For additional ideas on economizing, check out our recent blog post, which features summer-specific suggestions for saving.

Using freelance business tools

Manage gig work like a boss with this list of the best freelance business tools, courtesy of Make Use Of. The article caters to desk workers and highlights tools that ease the burden of drafting professional emails, organizing projects, sending and sharing files, tracking time, and more.

If Gmail is your email provider, you may profit from this piece at LifeHacker, which explains how to keep your Gmail storage free and under 15 GB. And, while we’re on the topic of email, make sure to use a professional email handle. Potential clients may be put off by handles such as “BeachLife1987@gmail.com.” Using your first and last name reads as more professional.

 A realistic look at what it’s like to freelance

Are you new to working as an independent contractor? If so, Harper’s Bazaar’s guide to freelancing may help! This straightforward, optimistic article describes what it’s really like to be a freelancer, and it keeps it lighthearted, poking fun at Carrie Bradshaw’s (totally unrealistic) freelance writing lifestyle in Sex in the City. If you’re looking for advice on how to be fiscally savvy, chase late payments, use your network to its fullest, and more, this quick read is worth your time.