With large-scale changes to the traditional workforce, we're now better able to venture beyond the standard 9-to-5 and find greater freedom through freelance and part-time gigs. The ‘gig economy’, as it's known, has undoubtedly given new meaning to work. Making up to a third of the workforce, this “liquid workforce” harnesses the power of digital technology to create a new breed of savvy entrepreneurs.
Benefits of the Gig Economy
“In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend to hire independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who often focus on their career development.” - Investopedia.
According to the International Labour Organisation, approximately 80 million jobs were lost in the Asia Pacific in 2020. With unemployment rates skyrocketing, many turned to the gig economy to supplement their income. From food delivery to copywriting, Singapore has seen a steady rise in freelancers. Though subject to the mercy of economic fluctuations and without the traditional benefits from working for a company, the gig economy offers plenty of opportunities. Some of these include:
1. Low Barriers to Entry
Given the nature of the gig economy, you can find a job so long as you've a skill to offer. This translates into lower barriers to entry, and it doesn't take much of an initial investment to get an online business or freelancing job off the ground.
All you'll need is a fast and reliable broadband connection, a decent laptop, and maybe a 5G compatible phone. For example, if you decide to start a blog, build good organic traffic and domain authority. Over the years you could sell space on your blog to advertisers - businesses pay you to keep banner ads, videos, or other sponsored content on your blogging platform !
2. Work-life Balance
Perhaps the greatest benefit of working freelance jobs is the autonomy you have to choose projects and working hours. Of course, you'll still have to meet deadlines and a minimum standard of work. And if it's an online business, you’ll have to consider social media presence and customer service. Even then, there's no doubt that starting an e-commerce business today is far simpler than before.
Small Online Business Ideas
If you're thinking of entering the gig economy, there's a slew of government initiatives to support you. Some of these include the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), E-commerce Booster Package , and the Start Digital Pack that was launched by the IMDA in partnership with entities like M1. Encouraging locals to start businesses and existing ones to go digital, the freelance job market has grown substantially.
Not sure where to start? There are so many online business ideas out there. Here are some options to consider:
Dropshipping business (online reseller)
Consulting in a range of different industries
The best part about these online business ideas is they require little to no capital to get off the ground.
Real-Life Gig Economy Success Stories
With almost every business going digital, it’s perhaps never been more possible to get out there and land a solid freelancing gig.
For example, you may be thinking about becoming a freelance writer. Or maybe you’re more of a visual creative, in which case you could get into freelance graphic design. There are heaps of freelance jobs in Singapore for you to choose from:
Social media manager
The sky’s the limit when scouring for your dream freelance job in Singapore. Some locals have even found their success in the gig economy, making a name for themselves in the digital space. Here are some examples from Singapore:
1. Jian Yang
PR consultant by day, Jian Yang boasts the 2nd largest doll collection in the world. During his university days, Jian Yang used to earn money by restoring dolls in his spare time. Exploring different restoration methods, he soon gained recognition for his craft through social media and Make-a-Wish Brazil even reached out to him. Since embarking on his unique journey in 1984, Jian Yang has published a book, Flushable Fashion, which features Barbie dolls wearing clothes made from toilet paper.
If you love local flavours, surely, you've heard of LadyIronChef, an enormous food blog started by Brad Lau in 2007. One of Singapore’s most well-known food blogs, the website has come a long way from its humble beginnings. And with a net worth rumoured to be in the millions, it just goes to show a blog can transform your love and passion into something more.
3. Sneaky Sushii
Sneaky Sushii is a relatively new YouTube content creator who's seen a fairly rapid rise in subscribers. Similar to YEOLO, he shares his satirical take on (often controversial) events taking place in Singapore on his channel. Dropping out from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore to pursue his YouTube career, he now has over 160 thousand subscribers and gets sponsorships too. In his recent interview with Mothership SG, the YouTuber shared that he was stressed out when he dropped out but now sees himself doing YouTube for a long time.
4. The Woke Salaryman
Looking for a platform that helps its readers navigate “brutal capitalist society”? That's what The Woke Salaryman is for. Promoting financial literacy through easily digested blog articles and comics, The Woke Salaryman sustains its business through sponsored content. But financial literacy isn’t the only thing they cover. Emphasising the importance of mental health, they sponsor and subsidise therapy and counselling sessions conducted by mental health professionals.
Get Everything You Need to Work in the Gig Economy at M1
Kickstart your journey into the gig economy right from the comfort of your own home. Make sure you’ve got Singapore’s best and fastest broadband. Check out the fibre broadband promotions at M1. We offer not only the fastest but some of the cheapest broadband services in Singapore.
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