13.04.2016 13:54

Earliest uses of the word “gig” can be traced back to the 1920s and referred to the work of musicians performing in jazz clubs. Since then, definition of the word “gig” was broadened and has come to include all types of short-term engagements completed by independent workers (or freelancers). And now these “gig” workers are redefining the business world as we know it.

In the past decade, largely due to advances in technology, we have witnessed a gradual shift in social and business environment towards “gig economy”, whereas more and more people are working independently in lieu of traditional full-time jobs with a single employer. Recent study (“Freelancing in America: 2015”) found that freelancers have become a critical sector of the US Labor Force with nearly 54 million Americans, more than one-third of all US workers, partaking in freelance work in the past year. And that number is only expected to grow. Study conducted by Intuit predicted that by 2020 over 40% of American workers would be freelancers.

As increasingly more people are choosing to work project-to-project and gig-to-gig instead of working 9-5, majority of freelancers indicate improved work-life balance, in particular greater freedom and increased flexibility, as the key decision driver. Per study, nearly 70% of freelancers noted that freelancing provided the opportunity to work from anywhere, and more than one-third were able to move thanks to the flexibility freelancing offers. Additionally, switching to “gigging” did not hinder their earning ability and proved to be financially sound decision. Over 60% of freelancers, who left traditional full-time jobs, stated that they earned more doing “gigs”.

Business owners are also starting to see a range of benefits that “gig” workers bring to the table. First of all, freelancers are experts in their respective fields and have portfolios and referrals to support their work. Be it a web developer, a copy writer, or a business consultant, freelancers are seasoned professionals and provide the exact right skills at the exact right time you need them. Additionally, businesses no longer need to be confined by their geographies and can bring in the best talent from anywhere in the world. Finally, freelancers can help businesses save money. Regardless of the size of the business, bringing in a freelancer is practically always a more affordable option than hiring a full-time employee, as businesses are able to save on office space, training, benefits, and taxes.


About the author:

Oleksiy Nesterenko is a finance and strategy consultant for entrepreneurs and early stage companies. Prior to founding his advisory firm OLEKSIY NESTERENKO. STARTUP FINANCE (, Oleksiy spent most of his career in investment banking, focusing on technology companies in the USA, Europe, and CIS countries.

Mr. Nesterenko holds an MBA degree from INSEAD business school and BA degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Business/Economics from UCLA.

Learn more about Mr. Nesterenko please click here


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