From Uber and Lyft to GrubHub and Instacart, one thing is clear – the gig economy is on the rise. According to Forbes, over 57 million people in the U.S. are part of the gig economy.
But why is it that so many people are interested in doing these types of jobs as opposed to doing traditional work?
For starters, the gig economy allows you to work independently. And independent workers report higher levels of satisfaction.
They have more control over their earning potential, they usually get to make their own schedule, and they enjoy quite a bit of flexibility. In addition, the work is always changing, so workers are less likely to get bored and experience burnout.
With these benefits and others, it’s safe to say that the gig economy isn’t going away any time soon. And there are a lot of ways you can get into it right now.
One service that’s great for new gig workers is TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit lets you make money by doing odd jobs that other people don’t want to do or aren’t able to do.
For example, you can make money hanging a TV on a wall, assembling furniture, or packing and moving boxes. If becoming a Tasker sounds interesting, keep reading to learn what it’s all about and if it’s a worthy way to spend your time.
TaskRabbit is an on-demand service in which people can request (and pay) Taskers to do all sorts of odd jobs and errands.
It’s a mobile marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to discuss the terms, price, and time frame of a given job. For providing you with the platform to connect Taskers with buyers, TaskRabbit takes a percentage of the hourly rate that you earn.
Here’s how it works: buyers post tasks to the site and Taskers look for tasks they’re interested in.
The Tasker then replies to the person who posted the task, discusses the project in more detail, and negotiates a price. Once you’ve finalized the terms, you can get to work on whatever the task may be.
The service is available in lots of cities and major metro areas, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Washington D.C., and even London.
The mobile tasker app makes it easy to search for tasks and correspond with other users.
You can manage your tasks, update your rates, collect payments, and manage your profile. The way to become a successful Tasker is to complete lots of tasks and earn strong reviews. The better your profile is, the easier it will be to book additional tasks.
If you’re interested in becoming a Tasker, it’s easy to sign up. But before you apply, you need to make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements.
To apply, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old, live in a city that TaskRabbit operates in, and be able to provide your social security number so you can get paid.
You have to consent to (and pass) a basic background check, and you need to have a Facebook account or a LinkedIn page. You also need to have a checking account, a valid credit card, and a smartphone that’s capable of running the app and updates.
There are some very specific tasks listed on TaskRabbit, so be honest with yourself about your skill level.
Decide if you really have the experience needed to complete a task before you take it on.
For example, if someone needs a ceiling fan installed and you have no experience with electrical work, don’t even think about doing that task. Look for projects that you know you can handle safely and effectively.
It’s ideal if you have access to a vehicle, but in some cities, it’s not required. For example, in NYC, where public transportation makes it easy to get around, you do not need to have a car.
Eligible to become a Tasker? Ready to sign up? You can start by visiting their website and filling in your basic personal information.
Agree to the terms and conditions, complete the Tasker application, and select the tasks that you’re interested in taking on.
TaskRabbit will ask you to upload a photo, state what city you want to work in, and give the details of the type of vehicle you have (if required).
When it comes time to select the tasks you have interest in, take your time. You’ll be asked what rate you want to charge for each task, so really think about how long a given task will take you before you set your prices.
Undercharge and you might only make a few dollars per hour. Overcharge and it might be difficult to get hired for the jobs you want.
If you’re not sure what rate to enter, don’t worry – TaskRabbit has a handy tool to help you determine how likely you are to book a job at your set rate.
They’ll also ask you to write a little sales pitch on your skills, experience, abilities, and why you’re the right person for the job.
With the task section of the application complete, there are only a few more steps to go.
Earlier we mentioned that you need a credit card to sign up to be a Tasker – if you were wondering why here’s the explanation:
You need to consent to a background check and you need to pay for it. Enter your credit card information, and if you pass the background check, a nonrefundable $20 registration fee will be charged to your card.
Once your background check comes back clean and you get approval, you’ll need to attend a brief Tasker orientation. When your orientation is done, you can start browsing and booking tasks!
There are lots of different tasks that you can browse on TaskRabbit. From home improvement projects to waiting in line at a store, there’s something to appeal to every type of Tasker and every skill level.
Think about your skills and what you excel at. Can you plan parties? What about complete minor home repairs? Are you great at decorating? Can you do some heavy lifting?
Do you want to snow blow someone’s driveway? Users have all sorts of needs, so you’re sure to find something that’s right up your alley. For the full list of tasks, click here.
If there’s one type of task that you love to do (and you’re really good at it), hone your skills on that task to build up your profile and get hired for more work. With time and lots of completed tasks in one area, you’ll look like a specialist in that particular niche.
The more that you can show that you’re really good and reliable at a given task, the more you can book jobs at higher rates and increase your overall earnings.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do various jobs. If you get bored doing the same thing over and over, branch out and try some other tasks.
You have the option to bid on the projects you want to do, so you can always try something new. You might even learn some new skills along the way!
If you’re looking for a great gig job, being a Tasker is ideal. You’ll have endless opportunities to make money and you can decide what you earn and how you want to spend your time.
When you first start out on TaskRabbit, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to create a profile that screams “hire me!”
But once you’ve completed a few tasks and earned some positive reviews, building a stronger profile is easy to do.
Over time, you can figure out what makes you stand out from other Taskers. And you can use that self-awareness to create an amazing profile.
But even if you’re new to the TaskRabbit game, there are a few things you can do to make your profile stand out and look strong.
Start by using a clear, professional photo. The best way to make a good first impression is with a photo that shows that you’re neat, clean, and competent.
According to TaskRabbit, Taskers with great photos can:
So what makes a good profile photo? First of all, make sure you’re the only person) in the photo. Don’t use a group photo of you with your friends or your significant other.
Make sure the lighting is good so that the image has good clarity. And make sure that the setting is simple. The main focus should be you – so make sure your background isn’t too distracting.
Aside from your photo, you can make your photo stand out with well-written and interesting descriptions. You might know that you’re good at certain things, but no one else will know unless you describe your skills and attributes in the proper way.
Be descriptive with your experience. If you’re a party planner, specify what type of experience you have.
Are you skilled in planning sophisticated wedding celebrations or little kids’ birthday parties? If you’re focusing on handyman tasks, mention if you’re experienced in doing yard work, painting, or carpentry. The more specific you can be, the better.
We mentioned this above, but setting the right rates can make a big difference in your profile.
It can be difficult to know what to charge when you first start out, but once you have a few tasks under your belt it becomes easier.
Keep in mind that as you complete tasks, you gain experience. And your rates should reflect that experience.
You don’t have to be the cheapest Tasker in the marketplace to get jobs. And in most cases, you don’t need to be the most expensive.
You’ve got to find that sweet spot where you’re charging fair rates for the experience you have.
If you’re working consistently, bump up your rates every few weeks. It’s almost like giving yourself a raise.
Remember, TaskRabbit takes a percentage of your earnings for the service they provide. So make sure your rates are fair compensation for the work you’re doing.
Like other jobs in the gig economy, the amount of money you can earn depends on what you do and how often you do it.
Where you live also makes a big difference. But if you continue to provide quality work and raise your rates as you gain experience, you can make some good money.
The best (and sometimes worst) part about the gig economy is that your earnings are entirely up to you.
How often do you want to work? How committed are you to the job? How serious will you take each gig? If you want to make serious money, you’ve got to show commitment and be serious about the work.
With TaskRabbit, you are considered an independent contractor and you can set your own rates.
So obviously, working jobs with a high hourly rate will increase your take-home pay. Some of the highest paying tasks include running errands, assembling furniture, doing yard work, and cleaning.
Running errands can include everything from picking up dry cleaning to going grocery shopping.
Whether you’re dropping off packages at the post office or picking up pet supplies, running errands is a popular task.
People are just too busy to do these errands themselves, especially during the work week. So there is a real opportunity to make some money doing some very simple things.
It’s no surprise that a lot of people HATE putting furniture together. Let’s be honest, those Ikea instruction booklets can be a bit frustrating.
So from a simple end table with a few screws to a more complex shelving system, you can always find furniture assembly tasks to do.
Most people don’t enjoy cleaning or doing yard work, and they’re usually happy to pay someone else to do it for them.
If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, you can find tasks that range from cleaning a small bathroom to cleaning a massive house.
If you’re new to the gig economy, TaskRabbit is the perfect way to jump in and see what it’s all about. You’ll decide what tasks you want to do. You’ll decide how much you can earn. You’ll even learn new skills along the way.
As a Tasker, you can make some good money – and you have control over how you spend your time. That is, after all, what gig work is all about.