I have served as a creative on both sides of this fence; my last full-time position, working for a strategic management consulting company, was 1999-2002. After my layoff, I decided to work as a contractor, which was quite the shift! Autonomy was great, but I missed the stability and “buy in” that comes with working for a company as an employee.
After working as rubicat.com from 2003-2013, I was hired by NOVA Workforce Development Division in August 2014. So I’m back to a full-time mentality, but my actual POSITION is a part-time position with no benefits. I consider this my employment purgatory; I anticipate my position becoming full time, but as with many other companies, Northern Virginia Community College employs a number of part time employees to fill positions that don’t require a full time schedule.
I still work sporadic contract jobs, but I see both sides of the coin, as an independent contractor with autonomy and control over my own process and time, and as a full-time employee who is dedicated to my company and its vision, with benefits and the security of knowing that my income is secure. Oh, and the camaraderie! Which means, at least for me: so much food. So much very, very good food.
Dave Ashton’s article (published on LinkedIn) puts a spotlight on the double-edged sword of traditional employment models and disruptive approaches that have led to these “gig economy” jobs:
“Some journalists are raising terrifying claims about how the sky is falling because “full-time employment is dying and soon we’ll all be obsolete”. It’s as if by 2020 we’ll be out on the street, penniless and begging a parasol-carrying bourgeois couple to let us run them across town in a rickshaw so we can earn a few tuppence for tonight’s pudding. A lot of people are buying into the fearmongering. They shouldn’t.”
It’s an interesting read. I would love to hear perspectives from those who, like me, have worked both as independent contractors and full-time employees–what are your thoughts on the two options? How do you feel about a gig economy ?