How the Gig Culture Benefits You… and Your Mental Health

by | Nov 25, 2018 | Mental Health

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The following is a guest post from one of Simply Living’s regular contributors, Brad Krause from

Getting into the gig economy is a big change for people who are accustomed to having full-time employment with one company. It may seem scary at first because your work is different every day, you’re not sure where to find work, and your paychecks come from multiple sources. Then, there’s the question of how and when to pay your taxes.

But fear not — like any new career, there’s a learning curve. These concerns eventually get addressed as you adjust to the new work style and gain more experience.

What is Gigging?

According to TechTarget, “A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” Gigs are temporary, freelance, independent contractor jobs that give you the freedom and flexibility to make your own schedule and choose the jobs you want. Much of the work can be mobile, remote, and digital. Many giggers telecommute from home or wherever they happen to be in the world. Hence, you might hear the term “digital nomad” to describe someone who works while traveling.

Mental Health Benefits

Gigs are often beneficial for those with mental health disorders like depression and anxiety — you don’t have to deal with a boss or the stress that comes with it. You can take time off when you need a mental break because you’re in charge of your own schedule and workflow. And of course, there’s the added perk of being able to work from anywhere. Traveling tends to reduce stress and improve moods, which is a great benefit for someone with depression or anxiety.

Exploring the freedom of #freelance #gigs allows you to choose your own jobs and hours, and benefits your #mentalhealth in a number of ways.

Finding Work

A gig can be any temp job in any industry, but the most common gigs are web-based or on-demand services. Freelance web developers, programmers, designers, writers, social media consultants, and marketers can find jobs online and work from anywhere with a strong internet connection and a laptop.

Meanwhile, anyone with a car can drive for a ridesharing or delivery service. Pet sitters, babysitters, house cleaners, trainers, and fitness coaches can find clients online. Everything else can go on Taskrabbit, Thumbtack, or Fiverr. The possibilities continue to grow as companies seek to reduce overhead by hiring remote freelancers and application platforms make on-demand and peer-to-peer services accessible.

Getting Paid

Invoices and billing can be cumbersome and full of delays. Who has time to chase down clients for their payment when your own bills are waiting to be paid? For those who have face-to-face sales transactions with customers or charge a fee on the spot, an all-in-one credit card machine can simplify your business operations. One device can ring up sales, accept payment, and print receipts.

Work Ethic and Client Satisfaction

Gigging is a more relaxed way to make money, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to try as hard at your job. In some ways, you need to work harder. You have to find the work and keep track of your budgeting and spending. Being your own boss also means prioritizing client satisfaction so you can get repeat business and referrals. Once you get on a roll, gigs can turn into entrepreneurship with no limits on income.

Taxes and Licenses

Independent contractors likely need to pay income and self-employment taxes because employers and clients don’t deduct these from paychecks. If you signed a W9 during your hire, then you’ll need to put aside money from each check to pay quarterly income taxes. A good rule of thumb is to save 25 to 30 percent of your income for taxes. Some jobs or cities require certifications, licenses, and registrations for self-employment. Learn the laws of conducting your freelance business, keep your business registrations and licenses up to date, and don’t miss deadlines to file or pay.

Step out of the stressful nine-to-five routine and into the freedom of freelance gigs. Your mental health will benefit from choosing your own jobs and being your own boss. Once you get past that initial hump, it won’t be long before you’re a pro.

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How the Gig Culture Benefits You... and Your Mental Health