Getting Ahead in the Gig Economy by Getting Your MBA

Close-up of two people signing a business contract
Close-up of two people signing a business contract

With increasing numbers of professionals shifting from full-time positions to portfolios of independent freelance projects, the "Gig Economy" is the new catchphrase for contemporary careers. Spring Arbor University's Online MBA program works to prepare its graduates for this evolving economic landscape.

This article offers some key tips for surviving today's Gig Economy and reveals how having an online MBA in this freelance-focused world can be an asset for those seeking success.

Tip #1: Gain an Understanding of the Gig Economy

As most indicators suggest, the Gig Economy is not just a trend, it is the way of future. The push toward working independently on freelance or part-time projects is increasingly popular. A 2016 report produced by McKinsey's Global Institute revealed that 20 to 30 percent of Americans work independently in some way.

Furthermore, economists in the United States have proposed that by 2020 roughly 40 percent — just less than half — of Americans will work independently, outside full-time positions. The reasons for this shift are manifold, and the preliminary perks of the flexible hours and varied opportunities that Gig Economy roles can provide are immediately recognizable.

With the longevity of this economic framework in mind, survival in the Gig Economy means embracing the freelance format.

Tip #2: Stay Focused

The best and most basic tip for success in today's Gig Economy is to stay as focused on your portfolio as you would in a full-time position. Develop your own business plan and set short- and long-term goals as you cultivate your career path. Be realistic in establishing your workload. You should select a number of gigs that will generate an adequately viable salary without overcommitting.

You can use the time and task management skills learned in your Online MBA program to ensure that you are tracking your progress and meeting client deadlines

Tip #3: Share Your Status

Share your availability with your professional network. You can build a personal web presence that showcases your skills and allows potential employers to contact you directly. In courses like "Accounting for Managers" (MBA631) or "Statistics for Business Managers" (MBA622), SAU students gain the skills to effectively manage their own businesses and work to meet their personal profit margins.

Tip #4: Research Your Niche

It is essential that you become an expert in a specialized area. Assess where your best-fit clientele are posting jobs and the rates they offer. Assess whether their project fits with your specialized knowledge/status as a subject matter expert. Spring Arbor University’s online MBA allows you to focus on one of several concentration areas such as: strategic leadership, healthcare administration, human resource development, organizational consulting and management.

Tip #5: Learning How to Give and Receive "No"

Be prepared to give and accept rejection. here will be times when you lose a gig to a competitor. You should also put stock in your individual worth and say no to jobs that are not worthwhile. Your work and your time are valuable; choose projects wisely.

Get a grounding in the Gig Economy with a Spring Arbor University Online MBA: the 100% online MBA degree that reinforces the tools needed to succeed in today's complex business world. Learn more here.