MANILA - Uber, Grab and Airbnb enable people with cars and condominiums to make money out of otherwise idle assets and present an opportunity to quit their office jobs.
But if they are unprepared, those in the sharing economy might wake up one day struggling to survive, like the taxis and hotels that they replaced with app-based services, said Chartered Financial analyst Gavin Cheng Lee.
Switching careers to become an Uber driver for example will mean having a more flexible work schedule, but at the cost of unpredictable income and the loss of benefits shouldered by employers such as health insurance, Lee said.
The sharing economy should be seen as an "opportunity rather than a risk," Lee told ANC's On the Money. "Who's to say that this mindset of Monday to Friday, 8 to 5, is the way it should be?"
Here are some tips from Lee on how to thrive in the sharing economy.
"Whatever it is you are doing right now, think that’s its not gonna last forever," Lee said.
Essentially becoming a freelancer takes out the predictability of a corporate job, like getting paid on fixed dates and having retirement benefits.
THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR
Those who quit their 8-hour per day jobs should know that what appears to be more free time can be used for money-making ventures.
Workers in the sharing economy "should start thinking like an entrepreneur, not an employer," Lee said.
"Time is the most important capital of entrepreneurs," he said.
CONDOS OR CARS?
Given stricter government regulations on ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab, Lee said it might be easier to offer one's home or condominium to services such as Airbnb.
Having one's property rented out also has its risks such as accidents and a slowdown in tourism growth, he said.
"A condo is a condo. You can always live in it," he said.
PREPARE FOR CHANGE
Advances in technology have the potential to displace current players in the sharing economy, the way it displaced non-app based players before them, Lee said.
"It will change once again... In 10 years there will be more changes driven by technology," he said.
Artificial intelligence, which is creeping into the current crop of devices, has the potential to disrupt the sharing economy, he said.
MIND THE GAP
If for any reason they choose to return to corporate life, those in the sharing economy should be able to answer questions from potential employers on the "gap" between their formal jobs, Lee said.
Lee said this is the same question asked of parents who return to work after taking extended breaks to raise their children.
"Moving from this regular employee to freelancer mode is not a bad thing. You can be both," he said.