The GIG Economy
The GIG Economy
The IRS defines the gig economy as “activity where people earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods,” often through an app or website.

Opportunity for everyone


Gig work consists of getting paid through taking online surveys, writing and blogging, becoming an amazon mechanical turk worker, selling on eBay, Poshmark or etsy, testing websites or applications, selling photographs, buying and selling events tickets, renting on Airbnb, becoming a social infuencer etc. ( )

Working in the gig economy can come with flexible hours, quick cash or the ability to set your own pay, depending on the job. However, it can also mean irregular income, a lack of benefits, and complicated taxes

LaurenSchwahn May 12, 2022

Career Skills for Gig

    In a job, we become accustomed to thinking of ourselves in terms of our daily responsibilities. Advancement becomes a matter of expanding our scope of responsibility and changing the tasks we are working on.  But in a freelance world, we need to shift our thinking. We become more aware of our skills and how we can bring them to bear to solve particular problems or to enhance specific projects. We learn to become aware of where our strengths and assets can do the most good.
    In a job, we learn to be an employee. We havebosses who tell us where to focus and what to do and we put our efforts in thatdirection. When we shift to a freelance mindset, we have to direct ourselves.This means we have to learn to work without the guidance of a boss telling uswhat to do. We are setting the goals, we are creating the outcomes and we arebearing the responsibility for both success and failure
    When you work for a company, your team is decided for you. You may have the ability to hire and fire people, but always within the context of what your company desires. In a freelance economy, you have to create your own team. This means thinking much more deeply about who helps you be most successful? Who complements your skills and abilities? Who challenges you and brings you new ideas? And how do you continue to develop and deepen relationships while you are also doing the hustling?
    Working "out loud" is also about working like a designer or an artist. They use sketchbooks to experiment, to write down ideas or questions, to reflect on and practice their craft. Freelancers need to work this way too. Often the seeds for your next opportunity lie in the scraps of thought and the stray ideas you keep in that notebook.

    In a freelance world, people want to SEE what you can do, even more so than when you worked as an employee. You have to learn to document your work on a regular basis and to create a portfolio of accomplishments that you can share with potential customers.

    You also need to document your progress so you can learn from what is and isn't working. "Working out loud" means paying attention to not only WHAT you do, but HOW you do it so you can build on success and learn from failure. 


    Einstein once said that given 60 minutes to solve a problem, he would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem and then the last 5 on the solution. Most of us suck at asking questions, grabbing at the first or most obvious framing of the problem without going any further. Success in a freelance economy is often about learning to ask better questions--helping people to be sure they're working on the right problem before offering solutions. I would argue that this is a skill that we all need to learn, but in particular it's a critical freelance skill as it helps you uncover where you can provide the most value.

    Agile learners remain open to new ways of thinking and are focused on continuous learning. Freelance success depends on your ability to continue to grow your skills and to be incorporating new ideas and new information into your work.
    Unless we are employed in sales, most of us don't have to worry about bringing in new clients. But in the freelance economy, it's all about the hustle. How are you creating new opportunities for yourself? How can you generate leads and turn them into paying customers? In a regular job, your mind is on doing the work. As a freelancer you are always thinking about two things--doing the work AND getting the work.
    Most of us hate having to sell ourselves. One of the reasons we hate looking for a new job is because it requires us to market ourselves in ways that can feel uncomfortable, if not downright painful. In the freelance economy, you're always have to market yourself--while avoiding that nasty feeling that you are engaged in self-promotion. It's all about creating your "personal brand" and being able to regularly articulate that brand value.

Tips to Getting Started

    For ones that require a vehicle for transporting people, it’ll need to pass an inspection annually. You’ll need to understand how much wear and tear you’ll be putting on your vehicle and be ready for regular, as well as unexpected, maintenance. There are cool companies like

    Each gig job is going to have their own requirements and standards you’ll have to meet and follow. For example, if you want to drive for Uber or Lyft, you’ll need a 4-door vehicle within a certain age as well as pass a background check and have a fairly clean driving record. 

    With delivery, you’ll need reliable transportation but really any two, four wheel, etc vehicle will do. With all of these gig jobs, you’ll likely need access to and understand how to use a mobile device to complete trips and orders. After your vehicle, your phone is your most important tool, so the newer the better.

    For ones that require a vehicle for transporting people, it’ll need to pass an inspection annually. You’ll need to understand how much wear and tear you’ll be putting on your vehicle and be ready for regular, as well as unexpected, maintenance. There are cool companies like Rideshare Mechanic that will even offer a virtual inspection!


    While many gig workers say they want control over their schedules and crave the flexibility of gig work, bear in mind that your earnings are largely up to you. If you don’t feel like working for a week, that’s a week of earnings you’re not going to be able to bank on. 

    Some people are able to set a schedule for themselves and stick to it. Others are easily swayed by the thought of not wanting to go out and work. Know yourself and understand that you’re in charge. 


    A huge benefit of the gig economy is that there are so many different jobs you can consider. You can drive people, deliver packages or food, write, be an assistant, and the list goes on. The sky is truly not only the limit but the starting point.

    If you’re not sure what you enjoy or if you just love the idea of doing something different every day, the gig economy is your biggest friend. Typically, rideshare is best for extroverts and delivery is best for introverts but check out our detailed comparison of Rideshare driving vs Delivery.

    Every single job out there comes with expenses. You have to pay for gas to get to and from work, or to do the job itself. You have to buy supplies such as extra chargers for your phone, a phone mount for your vehicle, a dash camera, or if you’re doing something non-rideshare related, you may have home office expenses such as upgrading your laptop, buying a printer, ink, paper, etc.

    One thing people just starting out in the gig economy don’t always realize is that your earnings, while determined partially by the jobs themselves, are up to you. If you’re willing to go out and do the work—and work smart—you’ll earn more than if you were to just dabble a bit here and there. Understand the bonuses and perks presented to you and make sure you set reasonable expectations on what your earnings can truly be.

    To go along with that, each market is different. Your earnings may vary greatly from one platform to another based on its availability in your area. Learn and adjust as needed.

    Typically, people only start thinking about taxes one time each year. As a gig worker, you’re likely not having taxes taken out of your earnings. This means you could potentially owe more than you’ve ever owed before.
    It’s beneficial to know how much to set aside for taxes, consider paying them quarterly to stay on top of things, and you need to know what deductions are available to you. Can you deduct mileage? Is it better to take the standard deduction or an itemized deduction? These are questions you’ll need to consider when joining the gig economy.
    Just like with any job, when you put out 110%, you eventually start to feel it. Understand that burnout is going to happen. Do your best to keep things interesting. Toggle back and forth between a few options if you’re able to keep your days from becoming boring.
    Only you know yourself, truly. Do you hate interacting with people? Don’t choose a gig job that is heavily customer-oriented. If you smell good food, is it irresistible to you? Maybe stay away from delivering restaurant-ordered food. Do what makes sense for you.

    Some people will look down on you for being a gig worker. There are still many people out there who don’t understand, or profess not to understand, how working like this is possible, or legitimate. They view anything other than a daily grind in an office to be unworthy.

    It’s a new age. It’s a new era. The world looks different from even just 10 years ago. The gig economy is just as legitimate as being a lawyer or doctor or any other degree-driven career. Just because you didn’t indebt yourself to receive higher education doesn’t mean it’s not a real job and isn’t worth doing. The gig economy can be for everyone. Embrace it!

    This is true whether you’re in the gig economy or have a “regular” 9-5. You need a backup plan. You never know what is going to happen.
    You could get deactivated from your favorite platform, you could get let go from a position, the economy could tank and jobs could become scarce. We saw this with the pandemic. Even drivers who still wanted to drive were met with limited income because no one was requesting rides. Always keep a Plan B in mind and in motion.
    Just because it’s a job doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. It may take a few days or weeks (maybe even longer) to fully get into the groove of the new work you’re doing, but once you do, things will start flowing and you might even realize this is the most fun you’ve had in your life. And you’re making money doing it!
    Harry Campbell, December 23, 2021

Get Hired for Gig Jobs

    Though many companies are now operating remotely, there is still work to be done. Reach out to contacts in your personal and professional networks about “meeting up for coffee”—via video chat—to ask for help discovering freelance jobs that you can complete virtually
    The need for some of the services that gig workers provide may very well be on the rise as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. For example, many people are staying home to self-quarantine, which may mean they order more food for delivery.
    Consider signing up as a delivery driver for apps such as Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, Eat Street and Grub Hub. Others may still cook at home but want to avoid going to the grocery store—you could do their shopping as an employee of a service like Instacart.
    Cleanliness is important for businesses and individuals, particularly after the onset of the pandemic. As a TaskRabbit, you could get paid to clean companies’ empty offices or individuals’ homes.
    Take this time to update your resume and online profile. Ensure it showcases your ability to simultaneously juggle multiple projects as an experienced gig worker, as well as examples of any freelance work that you’ve completed in the past.
    If you have a background in a certain field but have let those skills lapse as you pursued other experiences, sign up for an online course to regain your expertise. Don’t forget to add any new certifications to your resume and professional networking profile.