In this news story headlined “Gig is the future of work: Experts reveal at Techuncode’s FLOT event,” you will also read about the following:
…School is a scam! It is the real side Gig
…Gig is the future of work
…Anybody, even a novice can be a part of tech
….The Gig economy offers you numerous opportunities
…What to do to be a part of the Gig economy and speed up your future leadership
…Challenges of the Gig economy in Nigeria
…How to close gap of “years of experience” often demanded by employers
The Gig economy is the future of work. This future has already started in our today’s world!
Meanwhile, youths are the livewire of this economy. This is because, youths are the future leaders of today and the gig economy holds and presents uncountable opportunities to the African youth.
However, majority of our today’s youths lack the necessary skills to be a part of this future.
They are also not ready to leverage the opportunities that abound in this economy which is becoming the permanent new normal.
So, like Olawale Bakare of JCI said during the FLOT event, a lawyer today who doesn’t know how to use PowerPoint will run out of work because judges of today who don’t have time to read lengthy briefs will not entertain their cases!
Likewise, you will not get that contract if you cannot digitally represent your business proposal properly to the client and etc.
Therefore, having observed this challenge, Yours Beloved and Africa’s most-read technology platform, Techuncode, decided to pick up the gauntlet to systematically prepare the African youths for this today’s future of work.
Techuncode assembled experts to re-programme the youths with the “intellectual algorithm” necessary for thriving in the Gig economy.
So, to do this, Techuncode hosted the ever-awaited life-changing tech event we called the “Feature Leaders of Today” or FLOT for short.
This event turned out, as widely expected, to be explosive!
The FLOT event did justice to, among several others, this cutting-edge discourse – The Gig Economy As The Future Of Work – and it was very enriching.
Meanwhile, our guest speakers at the FLOT event includes: the National President, Junior Chamber International (JCI Nigeria), Olawale Bakare.
JCI , which partnered Techuncode on this event, is one of the leading youth leadership organizations in the world.
Also, joining the JCI boss as one of the panelists was the founder and CEO of Softwork Freelance Network, Chigozie Okwara.
Softwork is Africa’s leading freelance platform that connects freelance professionals across Africa to businesses that require their services.
Similarly, at the FLOT event, we also had Yomi Akande who is the Tech Lead at PennyTree.
PennyTree is a lifestyle savings platform with an integration of artificial intelligence features.
Also, present as one of our panelists is the IT Product Associate at Heckerbella, David Udeagu.
Heckerbella is a business transformation firm delivering effective, reliable and sustainable information technology solutions to businesses in Africa.
Meanwhile, we have great women who are equally taking the lead and shaking the tables in the tech world.
So, we did not hesitate to bring to you one of those women so you can have a taste of their wisdom and experience in the tech ecosystem.
And who did we bring if not our beloved Founder/CEO of myStash, Onyinye Oguego.
myStash Technologies is a fully registered and regulated cooperative savings platform that helps you save your money easily and conveniently.
So, if you missed the event, then you really missed!
But don’t worry; you did not miss out entirely as we bring to you a blow-by-blow account of the goodies these experts fed us at the FLOT event.
Therefore, tighten your seat belts and ride along with us.
Yes, like we said earlier, the event was life-changing, especially for the youths.
This is because, the tech experts shared secrets about how they are minting and printing their “non-fungible” skills [call it NFS if you want] in the African gig economy.
But we would first look into what the Gig economy simply is.
What is Gig economy?
By way of definition, the gig economy is simply an economy where full-time jobs are not the regular thing!
It is a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.
The Gig economy supports work in phases as well as allows outsourcing of work.
In the gig economy, different persons with different skills can work on the different phases of a project or product for a unified result.
These phases occur in a stipulated period of time.
Take for instance: you want to launch a product in the market as a startup.
What do you do?
You can have a critical thinker to help give a shape to the idea; what the product should really be.
Then, a copy writer can work on the brief.
A product designer may have to design the product; this person can also design a website for its user interface with the final audience.
Furthermore, you could pass over the work to a digital marketer who will communicate your product using visuals that appeal and communicate the product or brand properly.
Also, a content creator can equally create contents about it for publication; and the cycle continues to the finish. Payments occur at each phase.
So, each professional works and gets paid.
Therefore, the Gig economy is an economy that works on phases and in networks for a specified period of time.
Also, it is an economy where work is not hindered by years of experience that one must have or barriers, country, skin, age or status.
The gig economy allows for flexibility, so long as Gig come and tasks are delivered as at when due.
It thrives on what you can do and not who or from where you can do what.
“Working in the gig economy means constantly being subjected to scheduling.”
Speaking at the event which had over 1000 live and virtual participants, the Founder and CEO of Teksight Edge, the parent company to Techuncode, Mr Charles Edosomwan said the youths need to be properly trained to be relevant in the future.
He said upskilling the African youths to be the future leaders of today remains the company’s mission.
He was represented by the Digital Lead, Teksight Edge, Ayokunle Adebiyi.
Meanwhile, equally speaking at the event, the Founder/CEO of Softwork, Chigozie Okwara, said the Gig economy is characterized by tech skills.
He said youths, especially, must leverage the gig economy and code a better future for themselves.
According to him, Nigerian developers got more jobs during the pandemic because of tech skills.
Mr Okwara said that the future of work is that which sees everyone having at least one job, made possible by tech skills in demand.
The Softwork founder said, “everyone would have at least one digital skill. Like copy writer, content developers, digital designers.”
“Tech is life but you need to learn at least one skill. Some companies can’t afford to pay staff monthly so they pay per gig. They pay people per contracts. We need people to learn more skills. It’s an investment you can do for yourself by learning at least one tech skill.”
He urged youths to “Plan and look up good skills to learn, learn them and jobs will find you.”
Advising non-school leavers, he said they should build networks while in school because “the next guy around you in school might be your CEO.”
“So, build relationships, build connections while in school, build network.”
Further advising non-graduate students specifically, he said they should ensure that they get involved with tech and the gig economy by learning at least one tech skill. These views were also totally supported by all the other panelists at the event.
According to him, “the gig economy is more concerned about your skill set; what you can do.”
“It gives you a lot of opportunities to work with companies that on a normal basis, they would not employ you.”
“Gig employers don’t mind your qualification; they just want your skill; what you can do.”
He said, “payments for jobs are done in milestones.”
So, a freelancer works, and gets paid, then UI designer takes up, and gets paid, and the cycle continues.
Speaking on whether anybody can be in the tech space, he said “Everybody can be a tech guy. Learn what tech people do, how long it takes and just be a good sales man that sells tech. So, you must not be a coder to be in tech.”
Gig is the future of work:
Also speaking at the event, David Udeagu, the IT Product Associate at Heckerbella, noted that the future of work is gig.
He said the future of work has taken a new turn since Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the pandemic brought about remote working culture, especially in Nigeria.
Udeagu predicted that “in the nest 5-10 years, no one will be working in the office anymore.”
He said those with tech skills have benefitted and are still benefitting immensely from an explosion of the gig economy.
Speaking on the key ingredients of the gig economy, Udeagu said both electricity and data are the catalysts driving this economy.
He said, “Everything is getting into the gig space, everybody is having multiple jobs.”
Furthermore, he said those providing the tech skills in the economy must however prepare for this future.
He said, “It’s all about understanding personal development. As much as gig economy is the real thing, it changes a lot of things. Make sure you are fully ready with skills and work ethics.”
Also, he noted that communication is very important to succeed in the gig economy.
He said with communication, those with needed skills can get to benefit properly from the gig economy.
The Heckerbella IT guru said most people are where they are today because they lack communication.
He however warned that the drive to acquire tech skills should not make a youth derail from academics.
He said, “even though you have skills, it does not substitute for professionalism.”
Is school a scam?
Meanwhile, one of the controversial topics discussed was whether or not school is a scam.
The argument, “is school as we have it today in Nigeria – where teachers and lecturers with antiquated knowledge teach students theories and things out of sync with current innovation, technologies, demands and reality” – a scam or not was discussed.
Well, for Olawale Bakare, the National President of JCI Nigeria, who was equally one of the panelists at the FLOT event, tenaciously maintained that school is a scam!
According to him, by school, he meant that the school system as we currently have it in Nigeria does not prepare the youths for the new future which is riding on the gig economy.
He also said that school is one of the biggest challenges of the Gig economy.
According to him, school should actually be the real side gig or hustle and not the main job.
The JCI President however, held that what the youths need is tech skills to be and remain relevant in today’s future work.
According to him, “you need to make a deliberate effort to learn what skills are needed to give value.”
Bakare added that learning tech skills should be the real thing taught in school.
Bridging the “years of experience gap” demands by employers:
Meanwhile, speaking on how young school leavers and non-school leavers can bridge the many years of experience gap that employers demand before employing, he said thus:
“Covid-19 Fast-tracked everything. Things that we used to read abroad are now happening here.”
The president advised saying “…you must go extra miles and learn things on your own to break away from the old tech culture,” being taught in schools.
He said young people can join the gig economy and garner experience to bridge the years of experience that employers demand before employing.
“The opportunities we have in our hands today are opportunities to build skills that future jobs need. You have an opportunity every holiday to learn things for yourself.
“ASUU will not tell employers that they’ll delay students longer in school.”
“The education system has failed us. You’re the one to make deliberate efforts to learn what skills will help you in future.
“You can learn skills to spice up your CV and bridge the gap of having little years of experience needed for employers.”
School is important and education offers many opportunities:
On his part, the PennyTree’s tech Lead, Akande said although the school system may not prepare the youths for the future work, it should not be mistaken with education. He said maintained that education is not a scam and does not always have to be acquired under the four walls of a university or an institution.
According to him, education is a place for many opportunities.
He said people can learn networking and social skills from school.
Akande said “School will give you access to some places that when you graduate, you may not have access to.”
According to him, you can have direct access to an MD of a multinational company just by introducing yourself as a student.
Also, speaking on the nature of the gig economy, he said that “you don’t necessarily do everything yourself.”
He advised gig professionals who sometimes find it difficult to meet with KPIs to “share your jobs with someone so you can have time to manage other things like education. Don’t let go of opportunities until you find out there is nothing you can do with it.”
Challenges of the Gig economy:
Meanwhile, speaking on the challenges of the Gig economy, he said lack of electricity and high cost of data are major setbacks to the gig economy.
“The very biggest disadvantages to the gig economy in Nigeria are lack of electricity and high cost of data.”
How to be a part of the Gig Economy:
Also, speaking on how novices can get involved in tech, Founder and CEO of mystash, Onyinye Oguego said getting into tech must not mean that you will be a computer programmer.
The founder said “ to get into tech, do an analysis into what tech skills are there.”
“Do a personal analysis of the skills you have and need to have. Then go learn the ones you need, to be relevant in the tech industry.”
The CEO added saying that getting into tech can mean so many things like being a product manager; a business developer, a digital marketing etc.
So, if you have tech skills on demand, you will be part of the latest tech trends.
She urged young people to take responsibility for themselves to learn tech skills to become relevant in the gig economy.
Speaking on the challenges involved, she said many youths who even show interest in learning tech skills don’t learn to finish.
According to her, “You start learning a new skill; you do a course online; you don’t finish the course. That’s the problem with those trying to get into tech.”
She therefore urged saying, “learn it and get certifications too.”
Meanwhile, speaking on what kind of tech gig that will fit an educationist, Oguego said an educationist could be a digital marketer selling digital products.
She also advised that such a person could learn how to write and become a good content creator or a copy writer.
Also, an educationist could also learn how to produce videos for YouTube and other social media platforms like Instagram.
Adding to these suggestions, Yomi Akande said a person in the writing arts or and educationists can “Do video reviews of phones” or create online courses on how to do things to be relevant in the gig economy.
Techuncode’s Future Leaders of Today’s event brought young Africans together to rob minds and tap from the rich skills of experts.
The event, which has become a series, aims at preparing the youths for the future of work which has already begun today.
The youths are the future leaders of today.
And they need the relevant skills to add value to the gig economy which has become the new normal.
Moreover, our panelists who are experts drawn from different segments of the Gig economy helped in preparing the youths for the future work.
Other takeaways from the FLOT event were that the youths must discipline themselves by learning a tech skill that is in demand as a way of self-empowerment.
Discipline here entails you know what you want and then go get it. You have to take a decision on time why you are in the university.
Also, those who are already a part of the Gig economy must stay in touch with skills are in demand.
Watch out for our next event.