How to Leave the 9-5 Job Behind for the Modern Economy

Via The Daily Bell

Employment Ain’t What It Used to Be

The 9-5 is on it’s way out.

You can’t ignore the facts. That traditional model of employment so many Americans sought in the past, is giving way to something new. Fueling that change: dissatisfaction, loss of opportunities, and stagnation. Each forces people and the economy to adapt.

The expectations people have for a job have changed as well.

People want more than just a job. Yet many large businesses and corporations act as stewards of traditional employment. They push the same model of employment on people, but with fewer benefits than in the past.

Job security?

Not likely. Finding security within one company is decreasingly viable. Many people now piece together full-time employment through multiple part-time jobs.

Health benefits?

Almost non-existent. These benefits used to attract employees. Now the government has created so much red tape, healthcare is a liability for companies. They try only to meet the minimum government standards.

What is left to expect from traditional employment?

Monday through Friday, eight hours a day, if not more, your life is given to a company. This, in exchange for moderate financial security and the privilege of spending two days each week as you see fit.

There is no room for taking an afternoon off to reconnect with friends. There is no option of working from an exciting space. And there are not many opportunities to grow as a person.

And people are no longer willing to accept this.

The statistics suggest how this situation drives people to a new kind of employment.

An estimated one in three Americans has given up on the traditional model of employment, opting instead to become freelancers.

The number of businesses that are considered sole proprietorships and home-based businesses is higher than ever before.

The way America views employment has changed.

So, the next question is…

How do you change with it?

Joining the Gig Economy

By 2020 experts believe nearly half of the American workforce will be employed within the gig economy.

What that means varies, but it boils down to one main thing: leaving behind a traditional job in favor of small jobs, or gigs.

People become freelancers, no longer tied to a company but self-employed professionals within an industry.

So how do you join?

Simply put, you find an area of work that is in line with your skill set and start building a client base. You can make almost anything into a freelance job.

And with so many opportunities available, the question is…

What do you enjoy doing?

Finding where you fit into the new market will take a bit of introspection.

But there’s freedom in knowing the choice solely lies with you. You are taking control of your financial freedom, instead of relying on institutions out of your control.

Just browse Craigslist or Freelancer to start seeing all the gigs available. You might be surprised by the range of skills people are looking for.

If you are feeling really adventurous, try to get one of the gigs. That is how you start. By experimenting. How do they respond? What can you do differently next time?

Adapting To Change

For all the freedom and control the gig economy offers, it is not without new challenges.

You can’t be content with work coming to you. You can’t wait out the clock for the end of the workday. Instead, you must take an active role in seeking out opportunities and income.

And while this may be a bit challenging to those just joining the market, with time and practice, it becomes much easier.

As you start…

There are many ways to market your talents and attract high paying clients.

There’s the standard route of building a portfolio and cold pitching potential clients. This takes time but overall leads you to the greatest possibility for success as you continue to develop your skills and land more clients.

Putting in the effort to collect and create an effective portfolio simply will not happen overnight, nor will mastering the perfect cold pitch.

(But New Sales Simplified is a great place to start if you want to go the cold-calling route)

With concentrated effort, the opportunities provided by having a solid portfolio and well-crafted approach to landing new clients will vastly outweigh the energy spent perfecting each. Start now, and in a couple years, you will be happy you did.

There are also freelance marketplaces, like Freelancer and Upwork. These marketplaces and platforms give you an opportunity to engage with clients directly while setting your prices. Sign up and you’re ready to start earning.

These are competitive places. They plunge you into the pool of modern workers. And this is some of the best training you can get.

These marketplaces allow you to further develop your business and marketing skills but in a more conducive environment to landing gigs. And they also offer reliable income, giving you a great place to start building while earning within your field. It’s easier than cold calling.

It is up to you to put in the effort. You may need to cultivate new skills until finding clients becomes easier.

But that is what this new economy is all about.

Experiment, try things out, and most of all, be ready to adapt.

Be prepared to put in more effort than you may have to in your previous careers.

That is the one thing that many people fail to mention when discussing the gig economy. It requires a lot of effort. Being able to set your schedule, set your prices, and be your own boss does not come easy.

But that makes it that much more rewarding. You aren’t a mindless office drone. You are a modern renaissance man.

Expanding your skill set

Once you’ve found an area of interest, the next thing to do is hone your skills.

Whether that means joining a coding academy to learn backend developmentenrolling in online writing courses, or simply getting out there to work with clients, finding a way to improve your abilities should be your main focus early on.

So find what drives you, then simply begin working on developing those skills to carry you forward in your new career.

Entering a competitive marketplace…

To make your venture profitable, you’ll have to set yourself apart from others within your industry.

This could mean putting in extra hours learning the latest breakthrough within your industry. Or it could mean continuously enhancing your ability to produce quality work quickly.

Remember, joining the gig economy is a long term decision that requires you to look towards your future while making those plans possible today. It is nice to think that you’ll have several high paying clients down the road, but unless you build the skills to develop those relationships, that plan will be nothing more than simply an idea.

But the gig economy does reward effort. It gives back what you put in.

For example:

Putting the effort into mastering your craft will lead to more clients, which in turn will lead to greater opportunities as you progress and advance your skills within your industry. Whether this leads to you developing a smaller group of higher-paying clients down the road or the beginning of your own firm, is your decision. It begins with doingand learning.

At times it may feel like a slow climb, this is natural. Though the time spent improving upon yourself within the gig economy is rewarded more quickly when compared to the traditional employment model.

The opportunity for advancement will come at you much quicker than simply waiting around for a promotion at your old job.

Freeing Yourself and Finding Fulfillment

There certainly are huge benefits from being ahead of the curve in terms of a changing your employment model. But letting go of a 9-5 does something all the more important, it frees you to decide the course of your life.

No longer are you trapped in an environment you dislike, performing work in which you feel no connection.

Instead, you are able to pick and choose the direction of your life.

So, if you are sick of working for the weekend, for two weeks in the summer, or God-forbid retirement, you should consider the gig economy.

For more inspiration about modern economic opportunities coming out at breakneck speed, check out Bold.


PT Save_America1st Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:07 Permalink

The great thing about the "gig economy" is that you won't be tempted to borrow money for ANYTHING.  25 year home loan?  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.  I can't even guarantee I'll have an income next week.  You think I'm gonna commit to repayments for any longer duration????  Congrats bankster corporate crooks.  You killed yourselves through your own greed and stupidity.Oh yeah, my long term track record doesn't look so hot either.  There was a time when I was prepared to borrow for a small project.  That was a decade ago.  Pulled the pin when my income lost guarantee of continuity.  Yeah, in order to invest you have to believe in a possibility of a return.  For a sensible person to borrow, they have to believe in a reasonable chance of repayments ... possibly due to a reasonable past setting them up to believe in a reasonable future.  Have fun banksters, "lending" to the "other" "borrowers".  Oh, it's all okay by you guys.  Uncle Fed is always there to bail you out.  You're gonna be needing a lot more bail-outs.  The aristocracy never ended.  It just changed names.  All bow to Uncle Fed and hope he grants you favour, otherwise you'll be impoverished and exposed as yet another clueless peasant.  "But you can't do that to me!  I am a Nobleman!!!  I mean, respectable bankster / land owner / businessman / entrepreneuuuuurrr!"  Until someone else wants your stuff and Uncle Fed wants to grant them your "honours" that you "worked so hard" for ...

In reply to by Save_America1st

cheech_wizard Umh Tue, 11/28/2017 - 22:15 Permalink

If only it were 9 to 5 only.But I'm just shy of that 6 figure salary, but the bennies are there.So how does the company I work for earn it's money? By testing electronic components for the MIC.Standard Disclaimer: I aspire to be a whistle blower one day given the shit I've seen over the last 3 years. While Russia upgrades it's military, we (being the US) use obsolete components in nearly everything. 

In reply to by Umh

Automatic Choke Tue, 11/28/2017 - 17:55 Permalink

I quit the 9-5 over a decade ago.   I went independent, science, engineering, design consulting...a one man firm by design.   I wish I had had the guts to do it a decade earlier....much more liberating, much more lucrative, much more fulfilling.   I've watched my clients lay big chunks of folks off on slight downturns, only to double my work (why?  because I'm not a fixed cost, and employees are...never mind that it costs more for me to do the same work.)  How do I make it work?  A few guidelines:  -  do EVERYTHING yourself.   all the tech work, all the bookkeeping, all the secretarial.  don't farm out anything business like (payroll, taxes, web development).  -  on the other hand, have a really good set of vendors you CAN farm out work to -- the sort you might be tempted to hire folks for, such as manufacturing (for me, that means circuit board manufacturing, board assembly, optics houses).   Never be tempted to hire employees...that is the road to ruin.  -  do real work, for real clients.  do stuff that can be demonstrated as successful, where you can close the files and move on to the next job.  avoid government contracts (SBIRs, etc)...those are traps for your time and don't pay.   -  you gotta be GOOD at what you can't burn bridges and keep looking for new folks, it is a small world.   to be successful, you have to rely on most of your clients coming back to you on a regular basis for their R&D needs.  -  last, MANAGE CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS.   don't overpromise, and don't let them over-expect.  be honest and prompt with realistic assessments of how well your solution will work, what it will cost, and how long it will take....don't sugar coat it, and don't be optimistic and hope you can make it up. That is what works for me, obviously won't apply to all fields, but it might rhyme for you.  your mileage may vary. 

PT Donate Moar Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:21 Permalink

Don't get too excited: AC inspires you and you succeed, all well and good.  If not, don't be too harsh on him or yourself.  As he said, your milage may vary.Then again, I'm waaaaaayy too negative.  You won't get too far by listening to me.  Listen to AC to inspire you to get ahead.  Listen to me when you get surprised that it is not working.  I can give you lots of excellent reasons why the world is fucked and everything is against you.  What I can't do is show you the exceptions to the rules.  AC can show you what worked for him.  Only you can find what will work for you.  People like AC MAY be able to give you a few handy pointers in the right direction.  All I can do is show you the wrong directions.  Good luck.

In reply to by Donate Moar

dhengineer Automatic Choke Tue, 11/28/2017 - 20:22 Permalink

You are absolutely on the mark wiith the whole free-lance thing.  I did two different careers, one after another.  First, I was a consulting engineer in an East-Coast city for 13 years.  I had a healthy client list, and I was hooked up with a dozen or so fellow engineers and techs... we could put together specific teams for the projects that came along and we did pretty well.  I worked 9 to 2 seven days a week: AM TO AM... how many nights did I sleep on the office floor because I had too much work?  How many meals did I eat in the car because I was on the road all day?  How much life did I miss?  Luckily my wife, also a free-lancer, worked with me so we could spend time together, but it got to be an absolute grind and I burnt out in 2000 and shut my doors. We moved to another East-Coast city, I went to culinary school, and eventually became a private chef, working out of people's homes.  I carried lots of groceries and I still have the scars from burns and cuts.  I had a lot of clients and I was busy, but after 8 years of that, I was done and we moved upstate to a small mini-farm and I retired.  You have to be in the right frame of mind to work for yourself.  If you think that you can take off whenever you want or blow off deadlines, forget it.  You have to get it done.  The client universe is small, and the consultant/free-lance universe is large, so if you screw something up, you are going to lose a lot of business.  You have to keep your ear to the ground and figure out how current events are going to affect you.  I missed the coming recession in 1991, and we went bankrupt.  I saw the recession of 2001/2002 coming and I quit before we got hurt.  You can make a lot of money as a free-lancer but you can also lose your shirt.  Right now, with the price of health insurance so ridiculous, I don't think I would try it again.  Also, governments are putting more and more restrictions on certain fields, so startiing something new takes a lot of thinking and planning.  And you cannot even begin to market your services without a specific client base to talk to.  Nobody wants to take a chance on the new kid on the block unless there is somebody else to vouch for them, kinda a Catch-22...

In reply to by Automatic Choke

MasterPo Tue, 11/28/2017 - 17:53 Permalink

Easy. Start your own business. I guarantee (I know something about this) that you'll be working 18 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, and dreaming of someday being able to cut back to half days, 'cause 12 hours ain't so bad. 

nati Tue, 11/28/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

I love to smoke bong hits, jack off to porn and lie around on the couch snoozing half the day. If anyone can give me some advice onhow to build a client base for my skill set, hit me up.

True Blue Automatic Choke Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:36 Permalink

I was thinking Air Traffic Controller, but its all gubberment work in the end anyway.One glaring thing did leap off the page at me though; "Monday through Friday, eight hours a day, if not more, your life is given to a company. This, in exchange for moderate financial security and the privilege of spending two days each week as you see fit.Wrong. Monday through Friday, from two to four hours a day (depending on what State in which you live) your life is given to the government. The rest of your working day is given to the company in exchange for what the government forces you to use as money. This, in exchange for a debt fueled lifestyle, road pirates in Highway Patrol costumes stealing from you, your television and telephone spying on you and your government committing war-crimes across the planet in your name; while using your earnings to raise entire domestic communities brainwashed into thinking that their problems are specifically your fault and calling for your personal extermination.Makes you wonder.Who exactly is John Galt?

In reply to by Automatic Choke

Mena Arkansas Tue, 11/28/2017 - 18:44 Permalink

Yeah, working 1099 is great. Shitty hourly pay because someone else is always willing to do the job for less.15.2% FICA from dollar one.Zero benefits.Zero stability.Zero longevity.Zero vacation.You will always be looking for another job or gig.You will pay ALL of your expenses.You will be expected to ALWAYS be available - nights, weekends, holidays.Don't ask me how I know.

Conscious Reviver Mena Arkansas Tue, 11/28/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

I used to do that in SV. Then I wised up, retired at 43 and became a subsistence farmer in paradise. Own the means of production. Buy the right land, find the right partner and live happily ever after. Fwiw, my burn rate is about $700/month. Back in CA, I was paying $1,000 in property taxes alone. Amerika has become a prison. The best part of working for Uncle Sam when I was 18 was that I got to know the World outside.

In reply to by Mena Arkansas

RathdrumGal whoisjg Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:12 Permalink

HA!  I just retired from being an RN.  We had US born resident physicians who were about $500K in debt from college/medical school/residency.  The hospital employed staff physicians from Pakistan and India.  Before I left, I asked the residents why they just hadn't gone to medical school in India or Pakistan.  Same education for 1/5 the price.  The shocked look of "I've been screwed" on thir faces was priceless!

In reply to by whoisjg

roddy6667 Mena Arkansas Wed, 11/29/2017 - 08:18 Permalink

A lot of people who never were self-employed don't know this. They don't realize that once the gig is done you have to scramble to find another one. You don't get paid to look for new work. Advertising, interviewing, sales calls and appointments, free estimates and demonstrations--all that is unpaid and it takes up a lot of your time. When you see a successful slf-employed person, it is like looking at a winner walking out of a casino. Most people don't win, and the winner will be a loser sooner or later.

In reply to by Mena Arkansas

GreatUncle roddy6667 Wed, 11/29/2017 - 09:58 Permalink

Junked the 9-5 job 2 years ago ...Waste of time the cost of living is rising far faster than wages so you end up being pushed into a debt scenario.So I junked it ... First year ... broke even. This year yeah I could do more ... but balancing things around.For it to make you money you have to offer something others need but nobody else can get.Well I got 2 references now for other gigs who will swear by me and what I do.The benefit? I am in no more debt for sure than being employed 9-5 for some company designing and reverse engineering Chinese goods for the boss to rake it all in for himself.

In reply to by roddy6667

CRM114 Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:11 Permalink

I think the article is wholly wrong from a number of aspects.Firstly, the gig economy isn't there for the vast majority. One is highly restricted from entering the marketplace in the areas one has skills in, often due to the protective practices of large corporations in league with government regulations.Secondly, the level of paperwork involved in running multiple businesses legally is just astronomical. The author refers to experience as 'training'; it isn't. Taking on book-keeping without real training is a bloody nightmare for the vast majority.Lastly, people do not have control of their life if they are working 24/7 for a pittance.No. There are only 4 options.1) 'Retire' if you can, i.e. work for yourself on the money you have saved. Re-roof your own house, etc.2) If there's an easy out into self-employment, take it. Otherwise, stick with your large employer and exploit them to the max possible.3) Build a portfolio of work operating off the books - cash work.4) Drop out and exploit the welfare system. 

SweetDoug Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:44 Permalink

'''For those of you serious about this endeavour, I will guide you to your riches.It's easy. All you have to do to start making millions in your gig economy, is to send only $20 and a SASE, to the following address, and I will show you how!Don't wait! Space is limited! OJOV-V

Bear Tue, 11/28/2017 - 20:13 Permalink

The only employer that offers job security, good pay, health benefits, easy work, great holiday schedules, casual non-pressured environment is the Federal Government where the average salary plus benefits is $124,000 ... about twice it's private enterprise equivalent