The structure of the workforce is changing. Many people are eschewing full-time positions at one company for a collection of odd jobs from a variety of sources. As it stands right now, this so-called ‘gig economy’ remains unregulated by the government, for the most part.
However, California recently passed a law that changes the way contract workers are classified as employees or freelancers. Other states are expected to follow suit to legislate the gig economy.
Despite pressure from the government, the gig economy is booming. If you’re interested in wading into the independent workforce, here’s what you need to know to get started.
5 Ideas to Profit Off Gigs
The cornerstone of the gig economy is working the jobs you want on your own terms. Instead of a 9-5 office job, contract jobs are short-term by nature and can be done virtually anywhere.
Here are 5 gig economy ideas to get you started.
1. Sign up for “on-demand” jobs. Rideshares, delivery services, and pet-sitting are three popular “on-demand” gigs. Contractors are hired on an as-needed basis and move on from client-to-client, often hired through a phone app or company website.
2. Look for task jobs in your area. In addition to seasonal and temp jobs, there is another type of work that can be found locally. A task job. People seeking help in such areas as lifting heavy furniture, running errands and other paid assignments. The TaskRabbit app downloadable to smartphones is one resource in finding task jobs.
3. Use your skills to freelance online. As newspapers and magazines turn from printed material to digital content, so too does the freelance market. There are dozens of reputable freelance websites for writers, editors, and other creative fields.
4. Create content for social media platforms. Video-sharing sites and apps offer a unique opportunity for visual artists and the ilk to etch out a side hustle. Social media influencers can make good money with make-up tutorials, food reviews, and other niches.
5. Tutor children from other countries online. If you have a reliable internet connection, a webcam and temperament for education, teaching young students another language may be an option. Keep in mind that the clients may be in another time zone that requires you to tutor at odd hours of the night.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet
Side gigs are often just that – a second job during your downtime for your main job. The reason so many people turn to the gig economy is for the flexibility and independence it offers. Unlike ‘real’ jobs, you are your own boss with the ability to pick and choose your own assignments.
One of the draws of gig work is the solitude. However, studies show that working alone can reduce productivity for some people. Freelancers are now paying to rent out office space to work alongside other freelancers while remaining independent contractors. This practice is known as “coworking” and it’s gaining traction in the gig economy.
On the downside, most contractor jobs don’t provide benefits or other incentives. That’s why many choose to keep their day job and continue the gig work during off-hours. If you’re looking for an extra source of income and setting your own hours, gig work could be for you.