Graduating from college in the middle of a pandemic is far from ideal. With the United States unemployment rates above 10%, securing a full-time position or a summer internship is extremely difficult. In May, many companies were making layoffs and definitely not looking to hire a college student with little professional experience.
Luckily for me, I was offered a summer position as a remote marketing intern at a new tech startup called CareerGig. I started my role in May 2020 during the pre-launch phase, and I had a front-and-center view and was part of the behind-the-scenes work leading up to the launch on July 15. This internship not only taught me tremendous amounts about marketing and public relations, but I also learned a lot about the gig economy and lack of benefits available to freelancers.
The coronavirus pandemic required many companies to work remotely. But CareerGig was created as a remote company and most of the employees have only ever worked from home for CareerGig. The team is scattered across the country and some of us had never met anyone else in person before, let alone worked together. Yet, I still have gotten a chance to build strong relationships. Each month, we have hosted CareerGig virtual get-togethers, which is a chance for all the employees to get to know each other more personally. Working from home has many benefits, such as increased productivity and more freedom, and I feel that everyone has utilized this opportunity and has done a great job working together remotely. Through this experience, I’ve learned the benefits of having a flexible work schedule and the requirements of having self-discipline.
I also had the chance to experience the benefits of the gig economy and how freelancing is a very viable option for students like myself post graduation, especially through CareerGig. Since finding a full time job in the current economy may be difficult, freelancing is a great option as an alternative — either as a full-time job or something to get by while looking for a job. Most freelancing positions can be done remotely, which is perfect for the current work from home restrictions. My advice to young professionals, new college grads, and those of us who are looking to join the workforce within the next few years — we should all explore freelancing. And if that’s a path you wish to explore — I recommend signing on with CareerGig to help you grow in your “solopreneur” career while getting access to affordable health insurance, life insurance, and other important benefits.
Working for CareerGig has given me a deeper insight into the lack of benefits available to gig workers, freelancers, and the self-employed — and how this is something that desperately needs to be fixed. Over one-third of U.S. workers are involved in the gig economy, yet most of them do not have access to full time benefits such as health and life insurance through their work. CareerGig’s platform provides a much-needed solution to this problem — allowing freelancers to choose both flexibility and full time benefits. I believe that full time benefits for freelancers has the potential to turn into a new trend that will likely inspire other platforms. Especially in the current state of the economy, CareerGig’s platform has tons of potential. As I finish my senior year and consider my options post-graduation, I would be honored to work for CareerGig and be a part of the team to help make health, life, and other safety-net benefits more accessible to freelance workers.
Written by Emily Baker
Emily Baker is currently a senior at Wake Forest University working towards her degree in Business & Enterprise Management. She is looking forward to continuing to intern for CareerGig through the fall semester and gaining more marketing experience.