The gig and sharing economies have changed the way we work. Whether it’s a side hustle, full time job, or a steppingstone towards something more fullfilling (my recommendation😉), gigging affords you the flexibility to work on your own terms.
The gig economy is not going anywhere anytime soon. The trend was underway well before the pandemic which has only accelerated the movement. Food delivery is an obvious example, with demand from the likes of Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Doordash, and Menulog skyrocketing during forced lockdowns around the globe.
Furthermore, the desire for a more flexible workplace, especially from the younger generations, is being realised. An IBM survey found that 54% of Americans polled said they would be like to be able to primariy work from home, and 40% said their employer should offer remote work options.
If you read my first post, you will see that I quit my job after I had signed up and started driving for Uber. This afforded me somewhat of a safety blanket which in turn gave me the confidence to confront my boss. As such, I recommend getting a side hustle or part time job before you resign from your current role. I do not recommend getting another full-time job as it will defeat the purpose of what we’re trying to achieve here. What you need right now is more time, not money.
Using the gig economy to pursue your passion
If you decide not to go gig economy where you can choose your own hours, then aim for a part time job. You will need the extra time to devote yourself to learning your new craft.
Now, it may be the case that you that are an in-house graphic designer going out on their own as a free agent. That’s great, you’re already one step ahead. However, in my experience, most freelancers still require a side hustle as they transition to full time freelancing. Cash flow can be an issue for the freelancer. As a result, you should only go fulltime freelancer once you’re confident you’ve got enough work and a loyal client base.
The sole purpose of promoting the gig economy in this blog is so you can have cash flow and flexibility to follow your dream at the same time.
List of gig economy jobs
There are several gigs to choose from, some of which include:
- Rideshare driving: Uber, Ola, Lyft, Taxify, Didi, Grab
- Food delivery: Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Foodora, Doordash, Grubhub, Menulog, Zomato
- Odd Jobs: Airtasker, AskforTask, Wag! (dogwalking), TaskRabitt, Madpaws
- Parcel Delivery: Uber Parcel, Sherpa, Amazon Flex
- Accommodation: Airbnb, Stayz, Onefinestay, Campspace
- Cars: Car Next Door, Dive My Car, Share Now, Camplifly
- Tools: Sharetool, ShareMyToolbox, Mooch, The Good Neighbour
- Buy, Swap, Sell: Ebay, Gumtree, Amazon Marketplace, Facebook Marketplace
There are plenty of other gig opportunities out there. Find something that suits you best. If you like driving and meeting people, then rideshare is the go for you. If you fancy yourself a bit of a handyman, then give Airtasker a go. Or perhaps you have assets that can be shared like a spare room for Airbnb or a car for Drive My Car. Do multiple if you can, as long as it doesn’t clash with your study.
It’s about the flexibility
The gig economy isn’t about the money. It’s all about the freedom and flexibility to choose when you work and how long you work for. You certainly won’t become a millionaire working the gig economy. However, there are full time giggers and I know a few that make some decent coin, but they put the hours in. And that’s not our endgame here. We want the freedom to work from anywhere, preferably places with lower cost of living so we can work less. It’s about lifestyle, not riches.
Having flexibility of a gig work affords you time to pursue other endeavours. In our case, this will be time spent learning and honing your chosen freelance craft. More on the learning part in the next blog.
And being your own boss
The other great thing about working a gig is it teaches you to become your own boss. You are now in charge of your working hours and income. This takes discipline, just s your new freelance career will. The gig economy is great lesson in accountability. The beauty is, if you fall behind and can’t work for a few days for whatever reason, you can make it up by going hard on another day and making some extra coin. Being your own boss as a freelancer is a great feeling, but doesn’t mean hard work is not involved.
And marketing yourself
An unexpected benefit of working the gig economy is the opportunity is offers to market yourself for free. In fact, it’s almost like you are getting paid to market yourself. The number one question I was asked as a rideshare driver is something along the lines of:
“Is this all you do?”
“Do you have another job?”
“What else do you do?”
And I would just answer the question honestly, “Well, actually, I’m a freelance copywriter.” Mostly, this would lead into a conversation about copywriting but occasionally I would be asked for a business card as someone was interested in my services. Even before I was still studying copywriting and yet to be a working writer, I would still tell people this is what I did. In fact, it’s how I landed my first copywriting job! Of course, I had massive imposter syndrome while delivering that first job, but more about that in another blog.
Your side gig is your safety blankett
Okay, so you don’t need to necessarily land a job in the gig economy. The important thing is flexibility, whatever side hustle you choose. There are four essential reasons for this:
- Flexibility: You need to find work that allows you to work around your life, not the other way around. This is so you can properly study your chosen freelance career that will set you free.
- Accountability: Working the side hustle will most likely mean you are your own boss. This is great preparation for the freelancer as it teaches you discipline and accountability.
- Marketability: Working a side hustle will most likely mean you meet and talk to a lot of people, which presents a great opportunity to market yourself, without selling yourself… if that makes sense.
- Security: Perhaps most importantly, a side gig offers you security. It pays the bills as you focus on your newfound career path as a freelancer or free agent of some description.
Once you get the gig, you can focus on the next stage of your life-changing journey – Choosing how to make money online from anywhere. Read all about your options in the next post.