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From full employment to the on-demand model

In Italy, where I grew up, having a stable job is something to aspire to. My mom left Paris to come to Italy because my dad had found the job of a lifetime at an Italian state-owned company. It could not get any better for a newly married couple. What would be better than working for the same company for the rest of your life? And having a guaranteed salary to feed your growing family forever?

Family Unit

The idea that having a good job means staying in the same office for your whole life is something brought by recent history and modernization, along with capitalism. In the 1880s, when the Industrial Revolution and Fordism developed and the first automated factories were born, independent artisans were placed all under the same roof and given an hourly payment in exchange for cheap skilled work. Even though in this system, no one was indispensable and everyone could learn to work along with machines, the workers were given benefits like vacations and insurances, and most important of all – stability.

Governments soon followed the private sector’s guidelines and built a whole economic model on full-time life-lasting employment, this created the class of workers that we call now white-collar. This is what Generation X and the Baby Boomers have known all their life. They have never thought you could support yourself and even your family without having a full-time job and the security of a contract. Words like “freelancer” were perceived as a joke rather than a job description or a title. No one heard of “gig economy” back then. How could you dream of working with app-based, flexible jobs if mobile apps or even smartphones did not exist back then?

Always connected

The rapid development of new technologies has allowed for the rise of remote and on-demand jobs. As a matter of fact, the kind of jobs is becoming more prominent by the day because many routine tasks can be done remotely through the web. Routine work can be contracted out to individuals that may even live in a different country. A great example of this is Freelancer – a platform that allows companies to advertise specific tasks that skilled freelancers will then bid on, and the best bid will get to complete the work.

So, the same technological progress that closed people into factories is now allowing them to exit these factories and work with flexibility, whenever and wherever they prefer. Employees are starting to realize that they can earn a living without committing to work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday at the same factory or an office for the next 10 years.

Thanks to a shift in the economic model and new working possibilities, workers no longer need to be chained to a desk for a full week to earn a decent salary. More and more people are now starting to adapt and appreciate the on-demand model and the opportunities of the gig economy.

On-demand job

The next generation, often called the Millennials, is now realizing that not everyone is meant for the same kind of factory or office job. They want flexibility, they want to work part-time while studying or pursuing their passions. They don’t want to have the commitment of having a full-time contract for more than a year. This is the number one reason why such a growing number of workers are switching from full-time employment to an on-demand employment.

Of course, shifting from having a secure full-time position at a big company and the guarantee of a paycheck every month to being your own boss is a huge change. There is a lot that you should consider before making that decision – both good and bad.

What are some of the main differences and things that you should consider before leaving your full-time job or pursuing a more conventional career?

1. Stability

Having a full-time job and a fixed contract equals stability. You have a set schedule, you always work the same days and hours, out of the same office, sometimes even performing the same tasks every day… While some people enjoy having a routine and a stable lifestyle, others find it boring and prefer to have a flexible schedule. Working with app-based jobs gives you the opportunity to enjoy a Wednesday morning out of work but it can have its downsides as well. Sometimes your gig can be canceled last minute or you may not be able to book any assignments for some time. But, as they say, no risk, no fun!

2. Security

Depending on your job and the company you work for, you will typically have a guarantee that you cannot lose your job for a certain period of time or without breaking your contract. Typically, you will need to be given a month’s notice before the company decides to let you go. Having a fixed contract means having security that you cannot lose your job overnight. If (knock on wood) you do lose your job, most of the time you will be eligible for governmental support.

Saving for the future

No matter the scenario, you know that you won’t be left with anything. Working as a freelancer, unfortunately, does not give you that sort of security. Therefore, you should be looking out for yourself, always saving up some money from your paycheck and looking into the insurance policies and healthcare options suitable for you.

3. Being your own boss

Not having a boss seems like a dream doesn’t it? You can sleep until noon, you don’t have anyone standing over your shoulder, making sure you’re completing your tasks in a timely manner… The trick is, however, that without having a boss or a manager supervising you directly – you need to be your own boss. In fact, being a freelancer or working in the gig economy, you are your own boss, your manager, and your accountant – all in one! You will need to keep track of your schedule, your deadlines, and your payments. Are you up for the challenge?

So, are you ready to jump on a new career path? Explore all the flexible job offers at AppJobs.com!

Paulina Bajorowicz joined Appjobs in November 2018 and she is now the Content Marketing Specialist. She manages Appjobs blog and social media channels, coordinates outreach activities and cooperates with journalists and content creators around the gig economy.