The gig economy is gaining pace worldwide. A gig is essentially a shorter term job, unlike usual longer contracts of service. Gigs include short-term, casual and freelance jobs spanning across industries like fashion, transport, logistics, finance etc.
In Singapore, the “primary” freelancers do so as their main job and include insurance agents, private-hire vehicle drivers, hawkers and private tutors. In addition, the “secondary” freelancers do so part-time for additional income.
While the younger generation may be more receptive towards gigs, mature PMETs may be more hesitant. They are a special group of people who have amassed experience, but find themselves out of job due to cost cut measures like retrenchment.
While the long term goal is to obtain full-time employment, a stint in the gig economy may provide multiple benefits to PMETs who have been made redundant or are unemployed. The benefits are as listed:
(i) It provides immediate short-term relief – mentally and economically. Job-seeking mature PMETs, especially those unemployed for an extended period, would feel the crunch on their bank accounts and self-confidence. A gig would likely alleviate such concerns for the time being and allow the affected PMETs to seek permanent jobs while earning for one’s upkeep.
(ii) It allows the pursuit of one’s passion. This is very relevant to mature PMETs who have passion in alternative fields (eg. photography, fashion, F&B, programming, transport and logistics etc.) and are looking to embark on a more entrepreneurial journey. There is more satisfaction and flexibility to manage time however you want.
(iii) It increases the number of possibilities in job searches, especially in the midst of a weak job market due to companies managing costs by providing contract roles instead of permanent ones in order to save on associated benefits.
(iv) An extended unemployment period in the CV is usually scrutinized by employers. A gig will enable the mature PMET to continue working and not dull the mind, along with the added advantage of possibly picking up new and relevant skills for a future job search.