The Future of Work: How MBAs Can Prepare for the Gig Economy
Over the past few years, we have witnessed how people live and earn their living transformed and taken a new form. This new normal has brought many new challenges and opportunities for professionals across various industries, including those with the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. As the gig economy is in trend nowadays so, thus it is high time for MBA graduates to prepare themselves and finetune their skill sets for the unique demands of this dynamic work environment. This blog will be informative for MBA graduates as it will explore some important strategies to help them successfully sustain themselves in the gig economy. But before we discuss the strategies, we briefly understand what the gig economy means.
What is a Gig Economy?
A Gig economy refers to a labour market where the workers are employed based on contracts, and also, some are entitled as freelancer workers rather than permanent employers. As the work is contractually based, this provides them with the opportunity to accept multiple projects at the same time and are often referred to as ” independent contractors” or “freelancers”.
Advantages & Disadvantages of the Gig Economy for MBAs graduates
Now let’s look at how the gig economy can be useful for the MBA graduates
The gig economy provides a platform where workers can work at their convenient time. The work culture encompasses full flexibility where the contractual worker or the freelancer has the right to choose when they will work and from where they want to work. This allows them to work from their area’s comfort zone. This project always comes up with deadlines as other projects, but they plan how to accomplish it. This helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance and allows them to give time to their families. People who love to be family often get attracted to this freelancing work.
In the gig market, there is no one to rule them, and they are their own boss, providing them immense independence. And allows them to explore various areas and enhances their knowledge and skills. This is the best way to boost your confidence and knowledge in your interest.
- Introduce with variety of jobs
This platform provides a platform where workers get immense opportunities to explore various fields. Each new project comes with new challenges, and new scope workers who like to explore and experience may find this field interesting.
You always benefit when you work as a freelancer, as freelancing projects often come with a high package. If you have strong connections, this will help you to improve your financial stability.
Disadvantages of the gig economy
The following showcases some of the disadvantages of the gig economy
- No benefits
When you work as a freelancer, you need access to the benefits of the companies. But in some cases, if you are connected as a long-term contractual worker, you may get some benefits, but it varies depending upon the organisation.
- Personal expenses
Working as a freelancer will involve mandatory expenses that you can’t ignore or avoid if you want to. Such expenses involve a Laptop, internet allowances, a rent bill if you have an office, electricity, maintenance etc.
The gig economy involves freelancers and contractual workers, so the work pressure is on the single person. One individual is responsible for working on a single project. So sometimes it might be stressful that they get frustrated because of the work pressure.
Tips to Prepare for the Gig Economy
Now we will focus on how an MBA graduate can prepare themselves for the gig economy; below are some given points that they can adopt to prepare themselves:
- Developing Skills for Success in the Gig Economy
Developing a diverse skill set is an essential factor, and being an MBA graduate, they have the advantage of a strong foundation in business and management principles. This helps an MBA graduate to excel in their skill set. To survive in the gig economy, one must broaden their knowledge in vital areas involving digital marketing, data analytics, project management and entrepreneurship. Upskilling yourself in these demanding areas opens many doors for subscribing to a gig economy.
- Build your brand/reputation
Building a strong personal brand and thus presenting unique skills in the competitive market is mandatory to stand out from the crowd. To do that, define your value proposition and identify your target market. Develop a professional portfolio by showcasing all your skills, experience and achievements. Build a reputation through websites, blogs, Linked profiles and social media platforms. In the competitive, the more you will president your skills will help you to be unique and build a reputation in the market that will contribute to the path of success. In addition to that, building a strong reputation in the market helps to increase your chances of acquiring high-budget projects.
- Utilising digital tools and platforms
In the modern era of digitalisation, one must take full advantage of advanced technologies and digital platforms. Technology plays a crucial role in improving communication, project management and collaboration. Being an MBA graduate, and if you are planning to survive in the gig economy, you must familiarise yourself with digital tools and platforms commonly used in the gig economy. This will help improve your productivity, and staying updated with these technologies will attract employers’ attention.
- Quantify your value to your employer
To quantify your value to your employer and compare it with alternatives is a crucial step towards understanding your worth in the job market. You can gain insight into what other companies pay for similar roles through thorough research through networks and online sources. You should also evaluate the impact of technological advancement on your job role.
- Flexible work environment
Entering into the gig economy will demand flexibility as the project in the gig economy comes with varied deadlines and work locations. Build a habit of delivering projects on time. This will not only help build trust but also bring more and more projects in the future. Thus it is advisable to familiarise yourself with managing time effectively, prioritise tasks and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Build a strong professional network
Cultivating a strong professional network can enable you to reach out to potential employers, improving collaboration and leading to more new opportunities. You must build strong connections with your friends in the MBA program and from work experience. And look for opportunities to engage yourself in workshops and conferences, which will enable you to meet with a crowd of experienced individuals whose lectures can provide you with invaluable knowledge.
- Explore various opportunities in the gig economy
You must not lose any opportunity, and you should also grab small gig opportunities. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, you should complete the task on weekends and in this way, you will be able to explore various fields along with a regular job. This extra weekend work will add extra money to your savings account.
- Enhance your learning and skill set
To thrive in the gig economy, enhancing your skills and knowledge plays a crucial role. Always keep updated with the latest technologies and practices that align with your targeted industry requirements. Seek opportunities for professional development through online courses, certificates or attending workshops or various internship programs. This will allow you to apply the theoretical knowledge in the practical. This can further add value to your portfolio and brush up your knowledge.
- Analyse your value and compare it with your peers
If you want to thrive in the competitive gig economy, compare your skills to your peers in the marketplace and accordingly upskill yourself. In addition, identifying the areas where you are lacking will also allow you to prepare yourself strongly.
- Look for potential clients
Before you enter into the gig economy, it is crucial to scan the marketplace for potential clients regularly. This will help you build a connection and reduce the chance of getting pushed out of the market. Continuously researching the gig market will route you towards financial success and professional growth in today’s competitive and changing market.
Challenges Faced by MBAs in the Gig Economy
The increasing gig economy trend has created opportunities and challenges for MBA graduates across various sectors or industries. Graduates with all the necessary skills and resources also face many challenges. Let’s discuss some challenges they might face
- Uncertainty and Instability
This field has no stability and is a journey with uncertainties. As the economy depends on the virtual work mode, it does not possess stability. One may have a project one day, and they may not have a project t some other day. It is not certain, and the market is unpredictable. Thus graduates might find this challenging as there is no financial stability with a secure income. So this is a highly risky sector
- Depends on Experiment
As we all know, the MBA program offers comprehensive knowledge to the student, but to survive in the gig economy more is needed. Even after completing an MBA, graduates faced challenges gaining the required practical experience. So, for this reason, they find challenges in finding work.
- Balancing Multiple Tasks
The gig economy demands handling multiple tasks at the same time. This increases work pressure and stress and thus creates a challenging situation for freelancers and contractual workers. In addition to this declines in work-life balance.
The gig economy refers to a labour market where employers work on a contractual basis or as freelancers. The gig economy poses many challenges as well as many advantages. This blog has explored all these aspects and discussed how MBA graduates can prepare themselves to survive in this economy. To prepare for the gig economy, MBA graduates should focus on developing a diverse skill set that aligns with the demands of the dynamic work environment. Also, they should enhance their knowledge in digital marketing, data analytics, project management, and entrepreneurship to open up new opportunities. In addition to this, it also helps to add value to their portfolio. Also, they should build a strong bond and network with professionals; this helps to build a brand in the market. Despite the opportunities, MBA graduates have to encounter many challenges involving uncertainty and instability; this field also requires practical experience. The field involves multiple tasks at the same time, which is challenging for students to meet deadlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
A gig economy refers to a labour market where employees work on a contractual basis; this is a market for freelancers. It is also called “independent contractors” or “freelancers”.
This has flexible working hours where workers can work at their convenient time. The work culture encompasses full flexibility where the employees can choose when they want to work and where they want to work.
They do not have access to the benefits of companies, and it involves personal expenses that involve laptop expenses, internet allowance, rent, electricity and other miscellaneous. This work involves many stress work pressure.
It encompasses many challenges where students face instability and uncertainty of the work culture, which involves stress, and individual has to build a strong network to survive in this market. Employers look for highly experienced professionals.
To thrive in the gig market, one must upskill themselves and should be updated with the latest advanced technologies. One must look to continuous learning opportunities. Building a strong personal brand and thus presenting unique skills in the competitive market is mandatory to stand out from the crowd. It is essential to showcase your value to the employer. One must evaluate the impact of technological advancement on your job role. Cultivating a strong professional network will help you reach out to potential employers and improve collaboration, leading to more opportunities.
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