The Gig Economy: How to Make It Work for You


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You’ve likely heard the term “gig” before, but you probably didn’t give it much thought. Have you ever heard of the term “gig economy?” According to Investopedia, “In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.” However, don’t mistakenly believe that the gig economy is limited to established companies. Whether you hire out your services to a singular company or sell your services to the general public, you are a participant in the gig economy. You aren’t alone either. As much as one-third of the working U.S. population is working in some sort of gig capacity such as contractual or part-time work. If the gig economy has piqued your interest, read on to find out how it can work for you.

Reasons to Give It a Try

When it comes to side-gigging, Entrepreneur estimates that the average workload is 11 hours a week, and no more than 15. With these numbers, it becomes obvious that a gig will be a great source of supplemental income in addition to a full-time job—at least at first. Starting out, a gig is a great way to put a little extra cash in your pocket to cover bills, build savings, or make some extra spending money, but it also gives you that first taste of independence.

You are able to control your own schedule and set your own hours—to a degree. It’s probably not a good idea to tell your boss that you need to leave early to go run your side biz. However, your side gig could very easily turn into an opportunity for a full-time business. It’s also a safe way to see if this new venture is viable before saying “See ya later” to your nine-to-five. Give it a test run first, because once you join in completely, there is no offered health insurance, sick pay, or paid vacation. The gig economy provides flexibility, but you’ll need to be financially flexible, too.

Where to Start

The idea of starting a side gig sounds exciting, but where in the world do you start? Opportunities for side-gigging abound and could be as simple as looking to your interests and passions and finding a platform to match. For example, if you love dogs or have a furry family member of your own, you can turn your dog-centric lifestyle into cash by dog walking or pet sitting. Maybe dogs aren’t your thing, but you have a knack for the creative. Fiverr makes it quick and easy for you to find freelance work in a variety of categories such as writing or graphic design.

If you are completely new to the side-gigging world, using a site dedicated to matching you with jobs makes it simple for you to find (and decline) work, so you can focus on your passion and decide if this is something you want to continue pursuing. Perhaps, for now, you are content with picking up jobs or working on projects on the weekends. If you get into it and decide this is something you’d like to do on your own, you’ll need to make a solid business plan, consider your financial situation, and determine how much of your own time and money you are willing to invest. Don’t forget large and often overlooked pieces to the puzzle such as taxes and dry spells. You’ll have to keep track of and report your own income, and you may be subject to self-employment taxes. In addition, you’ll want to have some sort of nest egg saved up to rely on should you encounter a period of time when work is slow or life prevents you from dedicating as much time to your work as you’d like.

If you’re looking to make some extra cash, become your own boss, or see if your passion or ideas could become a full-time entrepreneurial endeavor, the gig economy is worth looking into. There are plenty of side-gigging opportunities for you to try. If it is an item or service others are willing to pay for, you can gig it!

Featured image from Pixabay

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