Gig Work and Wellness: What’s the Connection?

Learn how to stay well if you're working in a gig job. Be financially savvy, stick to a schedule, and make new friends!

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We all know that gig work is on the rise. If you’re working in any kind of short-term, freelance capacity, you’re part of the gig economy. People are driving for ride share companies. Crafters are selling their work online. You can hire folks to do odd jobs anywhere, at any time. But, what is the connection between gig work and wellness? Learn how to make sure you’re staying well and staying productive below!

Managing Financial Wellness is Key

When you’re in an industry that is volatile or you’re not sure about the future of your company, gig work can help you to create a safety net for yourself. Working in gig work full time can be stressful, because your income is less steady and predictable. But, adding gig work to a full-time job can help alleviate some financial stress. However, it’s important to manage your time appropriately as well. Because feeling insecure in your job is very stressful, it can have a negative impact on your wellbeing.

Gig work can help you to feel less stressed about the prospect of losing a full-time job. It can also give you some extra money if you are having trouble making ends meet. If you really like the gig work that you do, it might create another avenue for you to express yourself. So, if you’re feeling financially strapped and you can’t negotiate for a higher salary, consider taking on a gig that you like. That will help you to gain some extra financial freedom. Already in a gig and want to transition it to being full-time? Just be sure that you have appropriately projected what your income will be and try your best to match it to your costs.

Financial stress happens in gig jobs
Gig work is creatively freeing but can be financially stressful. Make sure you have your finances in order before making the leap!

Gig Work Still Requires a Routine

If you’re doing gig work full-time, you need to make sure that you’re not losing your identity in the process. Organizations have identities and employees become attached to those identities. The more you identify with your organization, the more committed to and happy you are with your work. For example, if your workplace is known as being fast paced and competitive, and you are a competitive person, you will be more satisfied with your job overall.

When you’re freelancing, it can be hard to craft a work identity for yourself. It’s important to balance having a viable work identity, by creating practices and spaces that reflect your “work routine”, with having spontaneity and freedom to express yourself through your work. Being able to cope with the tension of being your own boss, while also being excited about the ability to pave your own way, creates a lot of emotion. So, get up at the same time every day, have a separate space that you use for your work, and stick to a regular schedule. Making your work feel more structured and continuing to remind yourself of your broader purpose can help you to feel like you are still a part of something.

You need a schedule in gig work!
Being in a gig job doesn’t mean you have to take on a chaotic schedule. Keep tabs on your time and give yourself a routine!

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone in a Gig

Because gig work is independent, you get the benefits of being autonomous. But, all of that alone time can be isolating. It’s really important to keep your personal relationships alive when you’re in a gig. If you stop networking because you’re on your own, you might miss out on valuable collaborators or connections to new clients. You should also make sure that you’re staying in contact with family and friends who you enjoy spending time with.

When relationships are not built into your work day, it can be hard to make connections. Joining a professional association or a networking meet-up group can help you to feel less alone. You might also learn helpful tips and tricks for keeping your business thriving. You should also schedule coffee meet ups with people who can give you valuable advice. If you can continue to maintain connections to like-minded people, you can help them and they can help you! Bouncing ideas off of other people is really generative, but it requires effort and planning to make the time for brainstorming sessions.

We have talked about the importance of being attached to your organization before. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re creating some attachment to your work, even when you’re running the show! How have you made gig work sustainable? Let us know in the comments below!

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