This is a courtesy picture of us, the “working mums” after dropping our kids to school. Early this week is the first week of the school year for my girl. She was so eager to return to school physically. She woke up without hassle, took her bath, dressed, has her breakfast while I prepare her fruits and snacks for school.
We left our home at our usual time. While our recent weather has been hot and sunny, I was pretty impressed by our morning scene as we can capture the rise of the morning sun. Honestly, I have not seen a ray of sunlight for the longest time. At that moment, I felt so thankful for God’s creation and for having me make that decision to call the quit.
After sending her off to school, I sometimes have the joy of having breakfast catch-up with friends and sometimes with business associates.
Joining the Big Quit
It was about slightly more than a year ago since I joined the Big Quit or some know it as the Great Resignation. During the unprecedented pandemic, many working mums like me struggle to cope with family and full-time work.
Initially, it was a difficult decision to call it a quit, especially during the pandemic and having a stable job. However, I must say that I have not regretted my decision then although I do admit I miss some of my ex-colleagues, leaders, and bosses that supported me till the last hour of my rat race. Working from home was not new to me as I have been into organizations that already established policies, emphasize trust, and deliverables to those who work from home or remotely.
However, there are differences between working from home during lockdown versus normal pre or post-pandemic. The above picture is a total reflection of many working mums. That’s was exactly what we have been doing while working full-time and managing our family at home during the calamity. The work-from-home environment is a different scene. Most working mums will have their children at home together with their working husbands. Some even have extended families living in the same household. These working mums do not have the privileges to lock themselves in the room to focus on their office work and meetings.
That instant moment, most working mums had a total transformation. Many became an octopus overnight. It was a total transition from a stable working mum to juggling between attending online meetings to managing the daily house chores, the kids, school, and education. As full-time employees themselves, they have a hundred percent obligation and commitment to their work performances, meeting customers’ demands, colleagues, leaders, endless targets, and deadlines including their family and home. They became a full-time cook, planned and prepare three meals a day, became instant educators, monitored children’s online classes, did homework and providing schoolwork coaching, including the other house chores.
I am sure many of these working mums remember that during the Movement Control Order (MCO), they have to do their house chores, especially those without stayed-in-maid and they are unable to access external house cleaners. It was a total horror and disaster overnight at home managing multiple tasks at one time.
It could be one of the possibilities that cause over 4 million employees joining the wave of the Great Resignation in the U.S. late last year. We see this happening in the U.K and I read; Australia is anticipating this wave soon.
The Greener Pasture
Is there a greener pasture? Well, usually employees who decided to call the quit must have many reasons. Dr Marie Morganelli wrote and published by New Hampshire University, that there are ten good reasons workers left their job. They could be contributions from a company’s downturn, merger, or acquisition and mostly desire for change. The change can be for advancement, change of environment, looking forward to new leadership, or better compensation. She did not eliminate family circumstances as one of the contributing factors too.
Therefore, employees with the above predicaments and facing some unforeseen circumstances will trigger them to make the drastic move. Some may opt for another full-time opportunity for greater flexibility, compensation and perhaps looking forward to companies with a hybrid work model. However, with the current evolution to digitalization and forthcoming generations, many may decide to opt for flexible work engagement and change of portfolio entirely.
There are many women out there that left the corporate rat race to become gig workers or independent freelancers, or perhaps venture into independent entrepreneurship. With the current smart technologies, connectivity, tools, and work opportunities, the lives of many workers have changed.
Becoming an Independent Worker
In 2017, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported that there were 1.37 million gig workers (freelancers, independent workers, etc.) in Malaysia. Most of them are into On-Demand Work. Ths On-Demand Gig workers are the ones that worked with companies that have strategic products, and services. These companies can be the ones that provide standardized transactional-based work, like auditing, data entry, e-hailing, delivery, packing, and even furniture installers for the largest furniture solution design retailer.
Similarly, there is also Crowd Work which engages independent worker that provides their subject matter expertise and services independently. They can be a designer, a programmer, a photographer, an educator, a consultant, a trainer, a writer, and many more.
Is there a bed of roses?
I don’t deny that many people are nervous and cautious in choosing to become independent workers or independent entrepreneurs. It is understandable as many are hesitant to take up gig work unless that person has the readily plan and perhaps unfortunate circumstances that lead them to gig work.
While many enjoyed the lifestyle of independent work but it may not be a bed of roses for many people as well. Therefore, planning to be a gig or independent worker, or entrepreneur, one must have the safety net, discipline, niche or service-centric skills-set, critical thinking mindset, problem-solving skills, and ability to work independently and collaboratively. Not forgetting, personal branding is also key to becoming an independent worker.
We are more fortunate today as there are more on-demand and crowd works available through many platforms and marketplace in place to connect these gig workers from any location anywhere and anytime. Furthermore, having the opening of borders with technology, and connectivity, marketplace tools make it easier to access work opportunities as work is accessible across the globe, hence niche skills will be in demand.
As such, if one considering taking the leap and unsure where to start, there are many coaches, training available to help one to scale. Else, get a personal mentor to help you with your readiness for a longer-term journey.
DXGIG set the pace for tomorrow.