VOLUNTEER SECTOR AND THE GIG ECONOMY

If we take a closer look at the statistics of the gig economy it is expected that by 2020, 40% of the US workforce will, at least partly, be involved in this exciting sector. Of that 40% the majority of workers are Millennials and Generation Z workers, enjoying their first experiences in employment. The gig economy often involves connecting with clients or customers through an online platform and access to the internet is very close to 100% of the total U.S. population (18 to 21 years old) driven by a desire for autonomous and flexible work. The statistics reveal to us that in the near future, digitalisation will be the new normal as it takes over the traditional employment set-up.

With just an internet connection and a laptop, people can offer their skills digitally to organizations around the world. In a fascinating way, gig volunteering lets people donate any available time they have left to causes, voluntary organisations or start up companies and in return get fantastic experience that can help them in later life. Social media volunteering can also help build brands and connect people to brands. This is vital to nonprofits so they can effectively connect with millennial skill-sets to support their organisations work. The demand of digital technology has provided a lot of individuals, businesses, and Non-Government Organizations the ability to market their skills. 

An increasing number of online platforms now offer excellent earning opportunities, and with a decreasing need for physical presence in the workplace, it’s easier than ever to work for multiple employers simultaneously. Moreover, these platforms also benefit the volunteers by giving a chance to participate in NGOs from the comfort of their homes and for just a couple of hours a week because today, NGOs rely more on digital contributors. Just as the economy has begun to make room for remote work, there are remote volunteering opportunities available, says virtual volunteer researcher Jayne Cravens.

Volunteering offers experience, training, education, an in-sight into work and the working culture of a firm, provides people with a reference that they can use for their profile and their employment applications and also allows people to dip their toe in the waters of the sector that they think they want to work in, when their career takes off. Someone with good experience is always valued higher than someone with the best theoretical knowledge and a degree.

Whilst studying, volunteer, then you can hit your prospective employer with skills, education plus valuable experience. You can take the Gig Economy by storm and hit the ground running.

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