As of 2019, 57 million Americans joined the gig economy, a strong indication that this modern approach to employment will be prevalent in the future of the workforce. In this article, we’ve highlighted five reasons why you may want to consider joining.
1. High Earning Potential
The gig economy has a higher earning potential compared to conventional employment. As opposed to a flat salary, the amount of money you make each month depends on how much work you’re willing and able to put in.
The ADP Research Institute released a study in 2020 called Illuminating the Shadow Workforce: Insights into the Gig Workforce in Businesses where they compared the payroll data of more than 18 million workers from 75,000 companies with survey responses from 16,800 gig workers and traditional employees. The study revealed the top three industries to use gig workers – construction, recreation, and business – and concluded that gig workers are actually likely to make more than traditional employees doing similar jobs within those industries.
The lack of flexibility is one of the major drawbacks to being a full-time employee. Working 9-to-5 in an office gives you little room to explore other hobbies, passions, and skills. The gig economy makes it possible for people to work remotely and create their own schedule that meets their needs and goals.
The popular social media tool, Buffer, released its latest annual State of Remote Work report. In surveying over 3,500 remote workers about why they like working remotely, it found flexibility to be the primary benefit of the gig economy, more specifically: Remote workers enjoy the ability to have a flexible schedule (33%), flexibility to work from any location (26%), and not having to commute (21%). The flexibility the gig economy offers improves work-life balance and increases employee satisfaction.
3. Brand Familiarity
Uber, Postmates, and Airbnb are some of the most well-known companies in the gig economy. A huge perk of working gigs is not having to start a business from scratch. These popular gig economy apps have a strong preexisting marketplace and an established customer base that you can tap into. Your only role as a gig worker is simply to provide the service.
4. Unlimited Options
The gig economy offers endless opportunities for gig work, most of which have low barriers to entry like Airbnb and Uber. The biggest hurdle to joining the gig economy is determining which type of freelance employment is the best for you. Ideally, it should suit your skillset, schedule, and lifestyle.
Do you have assets you can leverage? What’s the cost-benefit analysis for your particular situation? If you have an extra room, consider using Airbnb. If you have a vehicle, consider Uber. For those who like to do odd jobs, try TaskRabbit.
According to The Mayo Clinic, lack of control is one of the primary reasons for job burnout. The gig economy gives you control over your schedule and the tasks you want to perform. This could be anything from working a part-time job three days a week to running a small catering service on weekends. As a gig worker, you control your workload and are essentially your own boss.
How to Find Freelance Jobs
Gig economy apps, freelance job listing websites, and the workforce’s shift towards independent contractors all make it easier to participate in the gig economy. The most common 1099 freelancing opportunities include delivery driving (Postmates or DoorDash), admin work (virtual assistant), creative work (writing, graphic design, web development, etc.), and rideshare driving (Uber and Lyft).
Start by doing your research on gig economy apps. You can also check out freelancing websites like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer. Employers usually post their requirements and qualifications on job boards where freelancers can easily apply. In some cases, they’ll be paired with the best gig worker(s) for the position.
Across the globe, businesses of all sizes now use freelancers to supplement their workforce. Gig work can be rewarding for those willing to put in the effort to grow their business. If you want to become a gig worker, be sure to do your research, find a freelancing platform, build your profile and portfolio, and determine your rates. Understanding how you can best serve your target audience with your skillset increases your chances of succeeding in the gig economy.