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Gig economy with hopes to reduce unemployment

NDA CEO shares tips on how to help people survive in this gig economy

With South Africa’s high unemployment rate ranking among the world’s highest at 32.9% according to Statistics South Africa, it is unfortunate that debt relief is unlikely to be a viable solution for many. In order to qualify for debt review, one needs to have an income. These statistics highlight the urgent need for alternative ways to earn an income and participate in the economy – especially for young people – to avoid falling into a debt trap.

This is according to Charnel Collins, CEO of National Debt Advisors, who highlights that South Africans are among the most indebted nations in the world, with 73% of South African’s disposable household income used towards making debt repayments, according to a recent SA Law Journal.

This Savings Month, Collins believes that the rise of the gig economy presents a unique opportunity for young people to make money on their own terms. The gig economy, characterised by short-term contracts or freelance work, offers individuals the flexibility to choose their own projects and set their own schedules. Collins says that this trend has already started to alleviate some of the stresses of unemployment in South Africa, with 3.9 million South Africans already participating in the gig economy.

“The gig economy offers a unique chance for young South Africans to earn an income and gain valuable experience. It offers a pathway to income generation and a chance for them to be their own bosses. However, it’s essential to approach gig work with the right skills and mindset to ensure its sustainability,” said Collins.

Tips to help young people succeed in the gig economy: [info block]

• Embrace continuous learning: As technology evolves, it’s essential to continuously learn new skills to stay relevant. Keep up with industry trends and invest in your professional development. Aside from courses that are valuable, but cost money, there is a wealth of free information available online, as well as mentorship programmes.

• Diversify your skills: Gain experience and skills in a wide range of applications.
• Cultivate independence and teamwork: Develop the ability to work independently and be adaptable to work as part of a virtual team. Collaboration and effective communication are vital in the gig economy.

• Be proactive and assertive: Take charge of your career by being proactive and assertive.

• Build your personal brand: In the gig economy, self-promotion is crucial. Create a professional online presence, showcase your skills and accomplishments, and market yourself effectively to attract clients and opportunities.

• Manage your finances wisely: With gig work often characterized by gig-to-gig living, it’s important to have financial capabilities to handle irregular income.
•Think like an entrepreneur: Approach gig work with an entrepreneurial mindset. See yourself as a business offering a range of capabilities, and continually seek ways to innovate and provide value to clients.

What is a gig economy?
A gig economy is a labour market that relies heavily on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time permanent employees.

The gig economy can provide additional job opportunities for people who may be struggling to find traditional full-time employment. It allows individuals to monetize their skills and talents, even if they don`t have a stable, long-term position.

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