The Independent Worker: What Is The Gig Economy?
More than one of every ten workers relies on the gig economy for their primary income.
Flexibility, good pay, and exciting challenges are attracting many Americans to gig jobs. You could be one of them.
If you thought that gigs were for people who couldn’t hold down a serious job, it’s time to take another look. Keep reading: this guide will give you the basics on adapting to the gig economy and how you can make the most of it.
What is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy represents a shift away from traditional, nine-to-five employment. It’s a free market model where independent workers do short-term or project-based jobs. Instead of selling your labor exclusively to one company, the gig economy lets you sell your services to as many buyers as you want.
Gig economies flourish when traditional employment institutions break down. When there’s a demand for convenience, like having groceries or dinner delivered to your house, you’ll see gigs springing up to provide the needed services.
Today’s gig economy thrives on new technology. You don’t need to be a professional taxi driver who gets dispatched by a company when you can connect with potential customers through an app. Many other gig jobs take place exclusively online, so workers can provide services from wherever they are (as long as they have a Wifi signal).
What are Gig Jobs?
There isn’t just one type of gig economy job. Gig jobs can include:
- Traditional freelancing
- Gig marketplace jobs
Gig marketplace jobs are the most visible kind of gig work. These are jobs created by gig economy companies to hire independent workers to serve a niche. The most well-known example is Uber: the company doesn’t hire drivers permanently, but lets workers fill the gig for as long as they want.
Benefits of a Gig Economy
Many people fear the lack of security that accompanies gig jobs. However, 70% of gig economy workers say they have a better work-life balance, and 67% of people working in traditional jobs said they would be willing to leave it for a gig. What makes the gig economy so attractive?
Basically, it’s flexible. In the increasingly complex world we live in, jobs are more competitive and degrees are less valuable than ever before. Career-oriented jobs pay less and are less rewarding than we ever expected.
Workers are turning away from traditional employment to the flexibility of gig work. Though demanding, gigs usually allow you to decide your own hours. You can work as much or as little as you want, so you can have the adaptable work-life balance you need.
Where Can I Find Gig Jobs?
Start by investigating the popular gig economy companies, including:
- Instacart Jobs
If you’re looking to make extra cash without working extra hours, try an even more alternative gig, like listing your property on Airbnb or Vrbo.
The Bottom Line
The way we make money is changing. Don’t be afraid to be flexible too.
The gig economy might not provide you with the job security you dreamed of in college, but it’s full of adventure. Are you ready for it? Get out there and make some cash!
We hope you found this article helpful. Want more great career and business tips? Check out the rest of our blog.