For years, work-life balance has shifted from a nice-to-have to a business necessity. The pandemic and work-from-home policies have only accelerated this shift, with companies and employees alike seeking out new ways to increase productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
This sentiment has become particularly popular in the Web3 industry, where workers are often able to set their own schedules and work from anywhere in the world. Web3 workers often get paid in crypto, which can add an additional level of flexibility and freedom.
But is this model of work really all it's cracked up to be? Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of Web3 contracting.
Pro: Higher earning potential
When you get paid in fiat, like billions of other workers around the world, your earnings are subject to inflation. This means that over time, your money will be worth less and less.
This is why, for instance, being a millionaire is no longer what it used to be. In the United States, a million dollars today is only worth about what $100,000 was worth in 1960.
Many cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are the complete opposite: They're deflationary. There's no central bank that can print additional money at will, which means that the value of existing crypto tokens is likely to go up over time.
Bitcoin, for instance, has a limited supply of 21 million coins. People lose access to their Bitcoin wallets all the time (through death, for instance), which reduces the usable supply and drives up the price.
Con: Income volatility
The flipside to the high earning potential of Web3 contracting is the volatility of crypto prices. Since the value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate so wildly, it's difficult to predict how much you'll earn from one month to the next.
This can make it tough to budget and plan for the future. For instance, you might be planning to use your earnings to buy a house, but if the value of Bitcoin crashes, you could end up needing to downsize your plans.
That's why it's important to ensure that your personal finances are in order before you start working in Web3. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Pro: Increased freedom and flexibility
One of the big draws of Web3 contracting is the increased freedom and flexibility it offers. While traditional "big company" jobs often come with inflexible hours, location restrictions, and a lack of autonomy, Web3 jobs are typically much more flexible.
Consider the big 4 consulting firms. They tend to hire exclusively from top-tier schools, and their employees are often required to work long hours, relocate to wherever the client is based, and take on whatever projects come their way.
In contrast, many Web3 jobs can be done from anywhere in the world, and workers often have a lot more control over their projects and clients. For instance, a graphic designer in Web3 might only want to work with clients that they vibe with, and they can often set their own hours.
Con: Less guidance
Booz Allen Hamilton, a big management consulting firm, was founded in 1914. They've had over a century to standardize their processes, develop best practices, and build a team of experts that can provide guidance to their employees.
In contrast, the Web3 industry is still in its infancy. Many of the companies in the space are startups, and they often don't have the same level of experience or resources. This can lead to a lot of uncertainty, and it can be tough to find answers to your questions.
This is the natural consequence of the greater freedom and flexibility offered by Web3 contracting: There's less guidance from those who have gone before you. If you're the type of person who likes a lot of structure and support, Web3 might not be the right industry for you.
Pro: Building in-demand skills
There are over 8 million Python developers in the world today, which leads some to argue that there's an over-supply of entry-level developers.
On the other hand, there's a dearth of experienced developers who know how to build decentralized applications (dApps). There are at most 200,000 Solidity developers (one-fourtieth the number of Python developers), and the true number is likely much lower.
Not only are Web3 developers in high demand, but so are other skill sets, like front-end design, user experience (UX), and marketing. As the industry matures, there will likely be an increasing demand for these types of skills.
The bottom line
Web3 has been a "millionaire maker" industry, and it has the potential to continue to generate a lot of wealth. But it's also a volatile and uncertain industry, and it's not right for everyone.
If you take the plunge into Web3 contracting, make sure you use a Web3 accounting solution like Bulla Network to keep track of your finances. Sign up for a demo of Bulla Network or join our Discord to learn more.