The sharing economy refers to the new wave of collaborative and crowd-sourced work. It’s an exciting new area that makes use of Internet and social media tools to connect buyers and sellers of service work.
Major examples of sharing economy companies include ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft and online task marketplace Task Rabbit. All of them use apps and websites that let people offer up their time and effort for decentralized tasks, and then make it easy for buyers to find them.
These example companies have fairly specific missions. However, the idea of decentralized tasks, and a new emphasis on freelance work for many bosses, could have far-reaching implications. There is no reason that more advanced tasks can’t be translated into a similar context.
For example, rather than employing full-time programmers, companies could place programming tasks and projects on a sharing economy market similar to Task Rabbit. Then programmers could attempt to secure the job by writing bids or sending in CVs. This kind of structure is already in place at Elance, an online freelance site that focuses on writing tasks. Writers write proposals for any job posted, and then the person who posted the job picks the writer they want.
It is a highly democratic and market-oriented approach to work. On top of that, while many people do make a living on freelance work and sharing economy-based tasks like Uber, others are concerned that the lack of long-term contracts with steady income is a problem. Whichever way you feel, you will need to adapt to the sharing economy as it becomes a larger way for people to get work. The idea of breaking big projects down into smaller tasks can easily turn into a force to propel the sharing economy forward and into more sectors.
It is still necessary to learn how to interview and develop the skills to sell your work to potential employers, but now your jobs could only last a few days to a few months each. Depending on the degree to which the sharing economy displaces the traditional job market, more and more people could find themselves working as freelancers. It is an exciting time of transition, and nobody knows exactly what will happen.