The nature of our workforce is changing, harnessing the distributive power of technology through platforms and apps, providing personal autonomy over schedules, working hours, and financial goals. As of this summer, 34% of the U.S. economy works within the gig economy.
What does it mean to be part of the gig economy?
Members of the gig economy are those who are not employees of the company that signs their paychecks – rather, they are independent contractors who work as their own bosses, setting their hours and taking on the jobs they want, when they want it. Instead of working 9 to 5, these people are leveraging their advances to make earning money more relaxed and overall enjoyable. Right now, close to 162 million people in the U.S. and Europe are partially involved in this kind of job market, with the number only expected to increase.
Gig economy apps
Naturally, startups and technological companies are delving into this kind of distributed workforce, producing the kinds of apps these workers desire. Take TaskRabbit and Thumbtack for example. Furniture assembly professionals, handymen, computer assistants, virtual assistants, and so forth are able to offer up their services when they want, for the pricing they want. Fair pricing is guaranteed as these professionals have to stay competitive with the other members on the platform. And then there’s Fiverr or Upwork, where digital marketing and writing services are freelanced to buyers. If you want a new logo, a press release, and voice over work for a new commercial, you can have it all at a reasonable price. Now, editors, videographers, influencers, and social media gurus can make a living from wherever they want.
Basically, the idea of Uber and Lyft has made its way into just about every professional industry, and it’s what we fondly refer to as the gig economy today.
The new job market
These apps are bypassing the traditional job markets and repurposing people. People who were once laid off at jobs, cast aside by job structures, or forced to take breaks can maximize their available time however they want, earning an income that is conducive to their lifestyle. Being unemployed doesn’t have to be a permanent label anymore.
Leveraging these new gig economy benefits means that no matter your special skillset or passion, you can make a buck off of it on your time, as you please, using the right platforms and apps.
The traditional approach to hiring and firing will soon be a thing of the past. Each and every worker offers some value, to someone, somewhere, and can access these people now with the technological tools available at our fingertips. It should be interesting to witness the expansion of the gig economy as time moves forward, with experts predicting it to be the total job market solution of the future. Who doesn’t want to be their own boss, pursue their passions, and set their hours?