Advances in Information Technology – especially with social media and data sharing have opened up a host of new opportunities for people. The ability to have a virtual office while on a beach in Thailand or on the train from Madrid to Spain have created opportunities that were unknown even until ten years back. This has opened up new time slots for working and increased the number of productive hours a person has.
The line between a regular job and entrepreneurship is blurring. Better cameras are creating a new breed of photographers. The sharing economy is creating a new breed of entrepreneurs and blogging requirements are creating a new breed of writers and authors.
New perspectives are now more easily available than ever. Moreover, with such niches developing, brands are finding a more cost-effective way to reach out to audiences. As Artificial Intelligence looms and threatens to take away 80% of regular jobs, the nature of a regular job as a source of income is also changing. There are quite a few key trends that can be seen.
Blogging and microblogging: Lifestyle magazines including those related to travel have been around for ages. Earlier there were a few major brands that played the role of the influencer. Individuals with limited resources did not have that opportunity. However, now, with the ability to set up ones own website almost for free, and the ability to get on social media platforms actually for free, individuals are able to free up their time to do what they love best. A traveller can travel the world and still find sources of income online. An aspiring chef does not need a restaurant and a Michelin star to tell the world about his or her new recipe. A gourmand can be a food critic and endorse restaurants and cafes.
Ad-hoc assignments: Websites like Freelancer and Upwork are providing a great avenue to connect with those needing small assignments done. This can be done as a past time and can be monetised. Those who used to keep journals can now write online. A website developer can now showcase his work halfway across the world. A designer sitting in Zimbabwe can create a brand identity for a small enterprise based out of Alaska. These assignments are not only creating more professionals in this field, but also motivating others with a flair for such creative pursuits to earn a little extra on the side.
Sharing Economy: One of tour-de-forces over the last few years, the sharing economy has had its ups and downs. But there are some remarkable stories. This includes how a family listed their home in Kenya on airbnb and through the earnings, funded their son’s education. Then there is the story of Uber drivers in Seattle earning a little extra from their cars to fund their startups. Housewives in India are earning more by cooking for strangers through dedicated food startups and are thus gaining more financial independence.
All this does require effort. But with barriers to entry at a minimum, it is great to see the democratisation of such skills. If aspirants are willing to put in the hard work, they can easily have 2 jobs or earn their living while doing what they love.