Independent HR Consultant Goes Gig Economy

Welcome to my next post in the series of Working in the Gig Economy as a Professional Consultant, in today’s post, I will share both my personal and a few general experiences on being an independent HR Consultant and experimenting with the Gig Economy.

Read my earlier post:

In my first stint as a “Gigger” back in 2013, I faced several challenges that ultimately led to me leaving this new economy rather quickly. These challenges were because of the emerging stages of online job platforms that I signed up for at that time.

Back Then:

* Work With No Payment

There were a couple of occasions on my first venture into the gig economy where customers took advantage.

How did they do it? You may ask.

Due to the structure of some of the freelance platforms at that time, you could complete a job, have it delivered and not receive a dime. This was very frustrating!

Although things have changed a lot since that time, as most of the platforms are a lot better now, integrating algorithms and new procedures to secure sellers and buyers, there is still the chance that people play you. And remember that most online job platforms take a large percentage of your sales.

* Issues With Reviews

Aha! This is a very important point.

While working as a freelancer, after completing and delivering a project, clients are required to leave feedback and write a positive or negative review regarding your service:

“Excellent professional service and prompt delivery, very nice to deal. On the whole really drilled down and over delivered – Thanks :)”

“I want Nicole on my team! She was absolutely fabulous, a true business partner and completed the task when my brain just wasn’t up to it. I plan to use her every time I need an awesome presentation a safe pair of hands to care take my projects and someone to bounce HR ideas off of”.

“Nicole is extremely knowledgeable and wise. As a small business owner I was helped out of an HR predicament and possibly out of costly legal issues. Her services would be value added to any business”.

While my clients would leave positive reviews that truly reflected their thoughts about my work, I know of many freelancers that have experienced clients that chose to do things differently; by either not leaving a review or writing negative reviews that would wittingly affect their credibility!

[Fake reviews are also a huge issue for quality sellers, but also for the buyer of a service]

Although there are still some online job platforms which have refused to improve and could be truly an inferno of a place for new freelancers; others have continued to evolve, offering a wide range of support services and making it easier and simpler to work.

Few Tips For New (corporate) Giggers

If you are new to freelancing, there are a few things that I think you ought to know:

  1. Know how to quote prices. As you are beginning, you need to understand pricing. When starting out, try to work at cheaper prices to get more work; once you have a couple of positive reviews – you can go back to quoting clients your normal service/project offers.
  2. Make sure you understand the client’s needs before starting work! This is a problem that I faced when I initially started out with clients from around the world (remember the different client expectations!). Before starting to work for a client, ensure that you understand all the requirements, you really do not want clients to reject your work.
  3. Quality work builds reputation and credibility. Understand that this is your business, so if you do not care of it – nobody will! Whatever project/gig/job you do, ensure that you do quality work.
  4. Work with GOOD individuals and companies. And ensure that you choose an online job platform that is better suited to the kind of job that you do.

Time For What You Want

One of the major reasons I decided to leave my corporate 8-8 job and set up my own business (and experiment with working in the gig economy) was to get enough time for the things I wanted. Yes, it is called freelancing and you work in your own time; but it does not end there. As an Gigger, you will have to work with different time zones to deliver your service worldwide.

So, if you think that online freelancing is an easy passport to a liberating life, think again!

I will continue my story about what I experienced as remote worker and Gigger in my next post, sharing information about full-time and part-time remote job platforms (a little different than online freelancing).


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1 Comment
  • Denis W Barnard
    12/04/2017 at 16:00

    Once your are working on your own account, don’t forget to take out some Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover you from any consequences arising from errors or omissions committed by you in the course of your project. Some public bodies will require this, and in any event, it is good to be ableto include that in your sales pitch, as it gives a thoroughly professional impression, as well as peace of mind!.

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