Skip to content Skip to footer

How creatives graduating college can best navigate the gig economy

Creatives graduating college are already entering a volatile job market. This is still only exacerbated by fears over student debt and more. But while the most lucrative long-term options might not be available, the gig economy is.

As we grow and continue to navigate the globe, we learn that it is paramount to move in multiple different directions. When we go through childhood and adolescence, the direction in which we move is normally chosen for us. 

gig economy
Pursuing your passion will never go out of style

Sequential movements in the gig economy allow for growth

The system continues to push its education agenda as one becomes an adult, thus making it seem as if that route is the only reputable choice for living.

The portion of our country that corporations fail to mention is the gig economy. Many students graduating college today are avoiding the 9-5 scheme in favor of pursuing passion projects and side hustles.

It is undeniable that the gig economy has represented emerging trends and occupational shifts since the turn of the century. The independent route has become prevalent and alternative work has continually increased with sharpness. 

“95 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.”

(Katz, Harvard)

The gig economy allows workers to make enough to pay their bills, all the while being apart of something that they truly care about. Not only that, but it provides workers with a sense of autonomy, flexibility and wherewithal to build independence.

Schools giving students the tools

Often times, coming fresh off a graduation can leave one feeling anxious and uncertain as to where they will collect a source of income.

Universities and colleges are doing their students a disservice if they never discuss the presence of our gig economy. Thankfully, there are some schools that ensure the “sunken feeling” of joblessness will never creep up.

gig economy
To best learn the ropes, start the climb.

At Baldwin Wallace, all musical theater majors will leave the university with an agent. At Babson College, there is an entire curriculum dedicated to the gig economy.

Also, at DePaul College, students can create connections and start gaining experience through a channel called, “The Gig Connection.” Some schools have created entire program wings titled, “Art Business Incubators.”

So clearly, the infrastructure is in place and there are programs available to help students navigate the gig economy. It all comes down to receiving exposure to valuable and realistic work situations.

The gig economy ingrains a sense of adaptability

Many gig economy workers are not considered entry-level candidates due to the transferable skills they have gained from these “secondary positions.”

Learning how to navigate the gig economy can provide intangible characteristics relating to independent contracting work, freelance or consultation. 

graduating college
If you work 9-5, take some time before and after every day to build your transition

The pivotal part about the gig economy is the available lessons and humble beginnings it provides.

The earlier you hop on the freelance wave, the better. Intrinsic inspiration often strikes the younger we are, so the sooner you are able to tap into your abilities the more likely you will succeed. 

The best form of protest is ownership

The gig economy allows those seeking a career to think for themselves as productive members of society. Rather than committing all their labor to the prospect of fulfilling someone else’s dream, freelancers chase their own bag.

They realize that this industry allows for greater vertical integration, accounts for market shifts, and makes it easier to change strategies. Working in the gig economy also helps individuals understand and interpret the needs of other workers, too. 

gig economy
The gig economy is swirling and it is rather easy to find your niche

Many people graduating college are turning to contingent work to fund their dreams and work toward becoming the sole proprietor of their efforts. To navigate the gig economy, start early.

Tap into your core and hone in on your craft from the infant stages and truly adore the process. Assess your strengths, values, and passions in order to steer through uncertainty.

Understand this – a transcript exemplifies dedication but a portfolio exemplifies self-application. Do More!