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What is the Gig Economy? Definition, Types of Gig Work, Income & More

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Most individuals have made the transition into the gig economy, which is expanding at a rapid rate.

Consequently, persons with a wide range of abilities easily find suitable employers. That makes it a must-discuss issue as it represents a shift in the economic landscape.

Changes in the workplace have made telecommuting an attractive option for many professionals. But what types of work does a gig worker perform, and what gig-focused companies are available for work?

Keep reading to find out more.

What Is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a free market in which people get paid for one-off, project-based work. People in the gig economy frequently use mobile apps and websites to find employment opportunities.

Those who participate in the gig economy are not traditional employees but self-employed independent contractors who take on several customers.

vector graphic showing an illustration of earning income from sharing within an economy

What Is Gig Work?

A gig is temporary work with a set start and end date. It is usually project-based, yet high-volume in nature.

Historically, artists have used the term to refer to any public performance. It might be challenging to narrow down to a standard definition of a gig due to its wide variability.

Examples include advertising an apartment on a short-term rental website or selling clothing items online. It also entails freelance writing, tutoring, and design.  

What Is the Difference Between a Gig and a Job?

The main distinction between a gig and a job is that a gig is temporary, while a job is oftentimes a long-lasting commitment between employee and employer.

While a job provides a steady income, a gig might not offer the same stability in terms of salary and benefits. A job is typically an obligation to stick with for the foreseeable future, but you can drop a gig anytime.

Why Do They Call It the Gig Economy?

The term gig economy stems from this specific type of work having different names, but all being under the same type of job umbrella.

Gig workers accept tasks on-demand basis and can juggle multiple projects simultaneously. As a result, a gig economy produces less expensive and more convenient services.

The advantages of the gig economy might be inaccessible to individuals who don’t use the internet. However, some gig economy responsibilities don’t revolve around using a digital platform.

Traditional businesses that have modified their personnel practices also offer opportunities for gig workers.

Hermes drivers, for instance, work on a piece-by-piece basis, although the company doesn’t have the technological backgrounds linked with gig work.

Some examples of the gig economy include tutoring services, nannies, and cleaning hires.

What Is a Gig Worker?

A gig worker works for various customers on a project-by-project basis. Customers can range from individuals to corporations.

Gig work is diverse and might involve everything from designing to running errands. A gig worker’s focus will shift to the next project after finishing the current one.

Mostly, what makes a person a gig worker is a need to supplement their income since many already hold full- or part-time jobs.

What Is an Example of a Gig Worker?

Gig workers include part-time freelancers and short-time contractors. Anyone who signs a contract to provide services to on-demand firms may count as a gig worker.

Types of Gig Work Available to Gig Workers

Here are some examples of gig jobs that could supplement your income or even replace it entirely.

1. Graphic Design & Branding

Graphic design is in high demand both as a traditional 9-to-5 occupation and as a freelancer’s side hustle.

You may make decent money from local businesses if you have the skills and zeal to design logos, flyers, and advertisements.

You can join sites like 99Designs or CrowdSpring, search for freelancing jobs online, or make cold pitches to firms.

2. Digital Marketing

Experts in social media marketing, paid promotion on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and search engine optimization are in high demand all over the world.  

Unlike higher-level positions, smaller digital marketing jobs typically don’t require years of work experience. Standard training and work history will get you an excellent gig.

Quick marketing gigs are plentiful on freelance platforms like Upwork.

3. Freelance Writing

Besides the demand from corporations, countless online sites are looking to hire freelance writers. You may land article-writing gigs or produce promotional materials like billboards and website content.

Certificates and experience will assist you land gigs, but you can succeed without them by honing your writing skills and establishing a solid portfolio.

4. Delivery

In recent years, food and parcel delivery services have exploded in popularity, providing a new source of flexible, part-time employment.

Gig workers deliver customers’ requests using vans, motorbikes, and bikes. Among the most famous delivery services include Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

5. Ridesharing and Taxi Driving

You only need a smartphone and a car to become a driver for platforms such as Lyft or Uber. If you meet the requirements, you can start making extra cash immediately.

Location, driving hours, and customer service skills determine your potential earnings. However, if you dislike driving and would rather not rack up miles on your car, this option may not be for you.

6. Coding

Since there’re many programming languages, individuals and corporations that don’t have programmers frequently need assistance with this function from gig workers.

In this role, you’ll be responsible for fixing bugs, building and maintaining websites, and assisting in creating software and mobile applications.

Where Are the Best Places To Find Gigs?

Here are some of the best places to find gig work.

1. Gigworker

Freelancers in web design, programming, accounting, marketing, content creation, and customer support can land short-term projects on Gigworker. It’s easy to navigate through their website and search for the latest gigs in your field.

2. Freelancer

The site classifies jobs by the skill sets necessary to complete them. Freelancer doesn’t require any registration fees to search for jobs. The classifications include:

  • Product Design
  • WordPress
  • 3D Modeling
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Development

Users can list their talents and experience and define their rates on a public profile. Then, they can browse for jobs using different filters and submit bids.

3. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is an online resource that connects job seekers with remote and freelance work. There are full-time jobs, part-time opportunities, and temporary position listings.

The platform’s thorough investigation and verification procedures remove duplicate listings and scams. The end outcome is a comprehensive list of versatile and professional jobs for independent contractors.

4. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit has what you need whether you’re looking for something temporary, ongoing, or close to home.

The registration process is simple. Users sign up and fill out a profile, specifying their rates and skills relative to various tasks.

5. Fiverr

While Fiverr organizes its services into broad categories, freelancers can be as specific as they are in their listings. First, sellers sign up for a free account and fill up a profile detailing their skills and the gigs they wish to provide.

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s job board has multiple full-time and part-time job listings. You may narrow your results by selecting a specific region or job category.

LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for job seekers since numerous companies use it to identify and recruit top talent.

What Are the Benefits of the Gig Economy?

Here are some benefits the gig economy offers to workers and businesses alike.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

One of the biggest advantages of the gig economy is the reduction of expenditures.

Hiring contractors also means businesses won’t have to shell out as much money for health insurance and paid time off.

2. Flexibility

Gig workers can choose their schedules.

Typically, they will receive a job assignment that they must complete by a specific date, but they’ll have total autonomy over the timing of their efforts.

3. Variety

Having diverse customers and projects to work on daily keeps work exciting, inspiring greater enthusiasm and originality from the gig workforce.

4. Low Entrance Barriers

The gig economy doesn’t necessitate having prior work experience.

In addition, customers can make service requests via digital mediums such as the web or mobile apps. You can determine and prove your capabilities through your actions rather than through a resume.

How Do Gig Workers Get Paid?

Some gig workers get paid by the hour, while others get paid by the job. As with any job, a gig worker’s earnings are proportional to the task’s difficulty, the time and effort they put into it, and work quality.

Approximately 85 percent of gig workers make around $500 monthly. Most of them utilize these platforms to supplement their primary income source.

Do Gig Workers Pay Taxes?

Gig workers must declare their earnings on tax returns.

Their employers can deduct tax from their salaries or place the responsibility of paying taxes on their employees.

If you are an independent contractor, you will have to pay an anticipated tax every year proportional to your estimated income.

What Is the Future of the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is here to stay. In today’s internet era, many individuals prefer working independently and businesses have an easier time finding employees to do work.

Predictions reveal that jobs in the gig economy will continue to rise.

What Is Prop 22?

header image for prop 22 post on gigworker.com

Prop 22 is legislation that requires rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft to legally classify their drivers as independent contractors but still offer them certain benefits.

Nevertheless, not all businesses may employ Prop 22; only those that meet the legal definition of a network company must operate under Prop 22 guidelines.

How Does Prop 22 Impact the Future of the Gig Economy?

Prop 22 could force gig economy businesses to classify their contingent workers as employees.

That could mean redirecting more money from other areas to pay for basic employment rights, higher fares, and stricter restrictions to work on these applications, particularly for part-time drivers.

It could also lead to fewer gig opportunities and unethical business practices.

Is the Gig Economy Worth It?

The gig economy is a fantastic opportunity for many people.

It’s motivating to have the ability to manage your time and prioritize your personal life above your professional responsibilities.

You can make a living in the gig economy with the proper self-control and work ethic.

If you know when and where to work, finding gigs is easy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions people ask about the gig economy.

Is the gig economy a GDP?

Yes. A gross domestic product (GDP) subtracts the labor and effort used to produce a good or domestic service from the amount that is produced, showing how much value is currently in the market.

The gig economy represents a sizable component of the present and future labor market.

What is the most popular gig in the gig economy?

Delivery is a large sector of the gig economy.

Being a delivery driver for a food delivery service like Uber Eats or DoorDash is a simple and highly sought-after gig in the gig economy.

Wrapping Up

Gig economy workers may get low wages and variable compensation.

They must also pay their taxes, benefits, and other associated costs.

However, the job tends to have a low entry barrier while providing substantial autonomy and adaptability.

Furthermore, most freelancing tasks don’t require previous experience.

Thus, the gig model is perfect for anybody looking for a flexible part-time or full-time source of income.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the gig economy and how to find work within it, let us know in the comment section below.

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