Are you tired of clocking in and out of your job every day? Do you long for the freedom to work around your own schedule? The freedom the gig economy provides helps millions of people work on their time while making enough money to support their dreams. However, working through the gig economy isn’t for everybody. It takes resources, dedication, and discipline. Read on to help determine if finding a job as a freelancer is right for you.
What Is the Gig Economy?
First of all, what even is the “gig economy?” This is a modern term we use to define a workforce where organizations contract independent workers for short-term working engagements. Oftentimes these workers find their “gigs” through technological platforms that help connect freelancers with people or companies that are looking for temporary help. Predictions estimate that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be freelance, independent contractors. Popular gig economy websites include:
Freelancing has its benefits. It allows people to work from wherever they are without having to adhere to a regular office schedule or regulations. However, there are definite drawbacks to working a gig. Freelancers have to be in charge of things other companies outsource to human resources departments.
If you want things such as health insurance and a retirement package, you will have to do the research and invest in them yourself. Furthermore, independent contractors in the United States work through 1099 contracts, meaning they get paid in full, and state and federal taxes are not withheld. When working as a freelancer, it is important to set aside money for tax payments while also tracking business-related expenses for deductions.
Getting Started with Gigs: Resources, Dedication, and Discipline
Deciding what kind of freelancer you want to be that will depend on the resources you have. Resources refer to both the things you own and the services you provide. If you don’t have a car or a driver’s license, you can’t drive for a rideshare company. The same thing goes for freelance work such as copywriting — if you don’t have the technology to connect with people online or the writing skills to do the task, there’s not much chance for you in that field. To decide what kind of gig is right for you, do a self-assessment of your assets to determine what works best for you.
Beyond your resources, you have to have dedication and discipline. Without a boss breathing down your neck, there is no one to hold you accountable for completing your work. If you want to freelance, you have to be a self-starter who sees your projects through. If you don’t manage your time effectively, you will end up disappointing your clients and failing to get hired again. Furthermore, you won’t make enough cash to make your living as a freelancer.
Tips for Freelancers
So you’ve determined your best route for gigs and you are ready to get going — great! Set yourself up for success with these helpful tips:
Set up space where you live for a home office. Even if your gigs take you out of the house, you need a space where you can organize your documents and schedule. Make sure you have your wiring and communication needs met in this area and personalize it with custom chairs, desks, and other furniture. Establish rules in your home office that provide structure and discipline in your working area separate from the relaxation and fun you have in the rest of the house.
Connect with other freelancers. Not only can they provide you with helpful tips and social support, they may be able to connect you with other clients in need of your services.
Don’t neglect your branding. Any time you advertise your services, you should stick to a particular set of visual rules that will create a visual imprint in a potential client’s mind.
The gig economy provides freedom and flexibility to work on your own schedule, but there are drawbacks as well. Budgeting for insurance, retirement and taxes are just a few of the responsibilities a freelancer has to do on their own. However, if you have the resources, dedication and discipline, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing a career you love!
Learn More on How To Start Your Own Business Today!
If you work as an Interpreter, Dispatcher or even in a call center, your job depends on your “voice”, and you are considered an occupational voice user.
Meaning, you are “The Voice” and that is your tool and the most valuable tool you have in order to convey and get your job done.
So, whether your an Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Dispatcher, or work in a call center, or as a scheduler, your voice is your only link with the customer, correct? So, it’s important that you take care of your voice and that you maintain a healthy voice in order to get the job done.
Because just as neat professional attire is essential for face-to-face interactions, having a clear voice is essential for your day-to-day business operations. A hoarse voice from an Interpreter, or call center agent (CCA), dispatcher carries the same negative impression as a worn-out outfit and can detract from building credibility and or doing your job the right way, do you agree?
Little Story: A few years back I was doing a Conference appointment for the State, I actually had a team interpreter (who was sick) and was coughing up a storm. Having a sick interpreter onsite who’s unable to do his/her job (use their voice to speak) not only did it affect the overall assignment, but it was a major distraction and also put on more stress on me, because I had to complete the job myself because my partner was sick with laryngitis.
So a healthy voice is crucial, but because you are constantly talking and using your voice to do your job and if you don’t take care of your voice, you are at risk for damaging your voice and developing hoarseness.
Overall, Interpreters, Dispatchers, CCAs with voice problems are bad not only for the CCAs, Interpreters, Dispatchers, Schedulers, and those who use their Voice to work but at the end of the day it’s bad for business.
I’ve learned from some Voice experts who now think that voice problem is a form of repetitive motion injury because the vocal cords are being injured by overuse, similar to the way data entry personnel may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
Did you know that when we talk, the vocal cords vibrate about 200 times a second for women and about half that for men? That can add up to more than a million cycles of vibration during a workday at a call center causing vocal injury this is also true for singers, interpreters, dispatchers, call centers, etc.
As a professional conference interpreter who’s constantly working and who uses her voice to work, it is so important to take care of your voice!
True Story: About 4 years ago (I was a major workaholic) 🤔😊working all day, every day and would not take breaks in between and didn’t like working with other colleagues (I had bad experiences with other agency interpreters), so I was working for a whole straight month non-stop during the Winter months and around November while working at a conference my Voice literally starting squeaking, I could NOT Speak, my voice started sounding horsy like, my chest started to hurt, my throat was just feeling horrible, I started to sweat, got dizzy and literally passed out! Apparently, I had walking pneumonia and laryngitis and was in the hospital! I failed to listen to my body, I was just so excited about the work, I love what I do and was just “Go-go-go” non-stop that my body finally gave out in the middle of an assignment! This little scenario ended up costing me months being out of work until I was able to get my Voice back and recuperate from this horrible experience!
So yes, dear interpreters, dispatchers, CCAs, Schedulers and all of you who use your work to fulfill your responsibilities TAKE CARE OF YOUR “VOICE”!
Here are some recommendations and things that I do and have done so since this episode.
Taking frequent breaks and being able to move around is so important because it reduces the tension in your body and will prevent you from having other joint/muscle problems.
Taking frequent breaks will give your voice muscle a rest, so try to rest your voice – meaning no talking, or drinking cold drinks.
Voice scientists advise those who use their Voice to work “to think of voice pacing on three levels:
Breaks within phone calls
Breaks between phone calls during the work day
Breaks between work days”
Besides posture, breaks, and vocal pacing, you must also practice good voice hygiene. These tips have helped me keep the throat moist and free from irritation so that my vocal cords are less likely to be injured:
Drinking lots of (room temperature) water (or non-caffeinated liquid) during the day.
Keep water with you at all times.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are drying to the throat.
Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing.
Don’t smoke! Smoking causes irritation and can lead to cancer and other health-related problems.
Don’t work if you have a hoarse voice due to a cold or upper respiratory infection.
Seek medical attention to manage any medical conditions that can cause throat irritation including acid reflux, postnasal drainage, allergies, asthma, and endocrine conditions, etc.
Avoid dry interior climates
Avoid high-rise areas they are known to cause damage to your voice.
Eat good and moist meals and avoid spicy foods, they cause acid reflux or GERD
Use a humidifier in your room or home, especially in dry climates.
Avoid mouthwash (it contains alcohol), if you need to gargle use lukewarm salt water
Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, A, E, and C
Drink lemon tea with honey (instead of coffee)
I made my own paste that I add to my teas and helps with phlegm and it also has helped me from getting sick; it includes:
Pepper, etc…I will include the paste recipe in my next food meal article.
Get Help Early; Listen to Your Body
Seek medical attention early don’t wait until you have lost your voice to seek medical help.
Pay attention to the signs that your voice is getting tired such as– dry throat, raw or tired feeling in the throat, increased mucus in the throat, feeling like talking takes more effort, feeling throat strain — in addition to a raspy or hoarse voice.
As a business owner, you know that starting and growing your career and business takes hard work, dedication, and lot’s of researching and training, RIGHT?
You also know that it can and will be stressful and overwhelming, right?
What if I told you that I created this awesome “Business Space” to help you, your career and your business and all for a LOW MONTHLY COST?!
As a former CEO who started her business from the ground up – TRUST ME, I know what you’re going through and that is why I created this space to help aspiring entrepreneurs and interpreters “Kick Start” their career and business!
Without all the headaches, researching, and overwork!
I’ve done all the work for you to HELP YOU:
Save Time & Get Your Career and Business Started in a “jiffy”
Put your Vision and Mission to work!
Have support and training at your “fingertips”
Make an Impact!
Earn Your Worth!
Don't you want a Go-to-place to help you and your business?
A Go-to-Place were you can get all the 411 for your Start-Up Biz or to help you Grow Your Biz, a place to get downloadable templates, resources, guides, training and so much more!.
Or better yet, tips and information previously used to build a business…
Well, let me tell you that you no longer have to “wish it” because I have just the place for you…
As a former CEO and an Entrepreneur who’s been in business for over 19+ years and with over 25+ years of professional Business Experience, I know a bit about the “Biz World”…
I started, built and grew my business from the “ground up”…YES, literally from the “ground up”…So, I know exactly what it takes, what to do and what not to do in order to Start and Grow your Business.
So, if you have a special skill,a product or service that you want to use to Start Your Own Business…that’s awesome!!! but what’s even more AWESOME is that in your case unlike me, you don’t have to do it alone!
Because after a few months of dealing with my own struggles, pains, and headaches with my Start Up Biz, I was so fortunate to have developed, strategies and grow my business…
Yes, I was fortunate enough to have contracts with the State of California, State of New York, Colorado, City of Sacramento, City of Los Angeles, Hospitals, and many non–profits, fortune 500 companies and businesses across the USA…
So, yes I know about Sales and Marketing, Management, Procurement, Contracting, etc and therefore I made it my Vision and Mission to develop something awesome, something that would help entrepreneurs just like you start their own journey without the struggles and headaches…So, here we are…
Here are some of the things you'll get when you Join my Paid Membership...
If you have NOT started your business, or if you are thinking of starting your business, or if your business is NOT growing, then this Exclusive Member Only Group is just for you…
JOIN MY GROUP for entrepreneurs and get the help, guidance, tips, networking you need to successfully START, RUN, MANAGE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!
Get the Tools you need.
Find the Resources you need.
Get the Training you need for your Interpreting Career and Entrepreneur, Small or Corporate Business!
Start Networking with like-minded Interpreters, Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners just like you!
Get everything you need in my “One-Stop-Shop”…No matter what industry you’re in!
Social Media Training
Online Marketing; with over 1,000,000,000 Instagram Users and over 2,000,000,000 and over 1,000,000 on social media to help you and your business! etc…
I’ve done all the “researching for you, I’ve tested all the programs and training for you and share what works and doesn’t work”…
AVOID PAYING HERE AND THERE and receiving NO POSITIVE OUTCOME!
So, if you answered yes to all of the above, let me ask you one more question; How would you like to use those “special skills, products and/or services” to create additional income and start your own business?
So many of you who already know me know that I’ve been on both sides of the aisle. I started off as a freelancer working with agencies (and still work) with a couple of agencies. After a few months working as a freelancer and seeing the do’s and don’ts and the “Good, Bad and Evil”, I decided I no longer wanted to continue to work as a Freelancer and working for “pennies on the dollar” and personally I didn’t like the process and demands of agencies especially since I was a “Freelancer / Independent Contractor” and NOT an Employee. Therefore, I decided to venture off on my own.
So as an Entrepreneur and Former CEO who’s been on both sides of the aisles and someone who started and built her business on her own, here are a few tips to get you started, learn from the voice of experience, learn from someone who started and built her business from the “ground up”.
Yes! I started my Biz 18+ years ago helping businesses tap into the Hispanic Market. I helped businesses “Break the Language Barrier in Communication”.
I built my business from the ground up, yes literally from the ground up…I built a team of 10 staff employees and a cadre of over 2,500 freelance interpreters and offered services in over 150 languages around the world. I built my services around my clients’ needs; Interpreting, Translation, OPI, Transcriptions, and Coaching…I had contracts with the State, County, City, Federal, Hospitals, Insurance, Law Firms, Nonprofits and so many more…and I can help you too!
But, in order to make my business work and grow I had to make sure I was ONLY contracting and training the best of the best; therefore I was able to help and continue to help “Bilingual Individuals” and those with “Specials Skills, Products and Services” Start their Own Business and I can help you too!
So here is what you need to know if you decide you want to venture out on your own…You need the “Basics”
Experience (gain experience as a volunteer)
Affiliations or Organizations
Now, these are some basics to learn and know if you decide to start. You can also join my list and get your Freebies and learn more about my Training and Coaching.
#BossUpandRise and become the #CEOHustler you always dreamed of!
Here is a Great Tool that I’ve been using to post jobs, manage online glossaries and network. I’m sure that you will find this on-the-go tool very useful!
Although, I no longer operate as an agency from time-to-time I receive assignments in other languages for both Interpreting and Translation and therefore I use this tool to post those jobs and provide language professionals to accept or decline the jobs.
I also, use this tool to post my online glossaries. It’s just a great tool to have on hand and when you need it.