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What Is A Gig Economy?

what is a gig economy

The gig economy refers to the increasing trend of people working in short-term, flexible, and often freelance or self-employed positions

This type of work is typically done through online platforms or apps that connect gig workers with customers or clients. The gig economy is constantly driven by advances in technology and the rise of the internet. This has made it easier for people to find and connect with potential clients and customers.

Now I’ll take you through a few more things to know. Then, you can answer people when you hear them ask, ‘What is a gig economy?’ yourself!

When Did It All Begin?

The origins of the gig economy go back to the late 20th century. That was when the rise of the internet, outsourcing, and freelance work really started to take hold. 

The term “gig economy” was first coined in 2009 by journalist Tina Brown. However, the concept of gig work is not new and has existed in various forms throughout history, including day laborers, seasonal workers, and independent contractors.

But today…

The development of online platforms and mobile apps has made it easier for gig workers to find work and for businesses to hire them. This has, therefore, led to a rise in the number of people working in gig-based jobs, such as driving for ride-sharing services and providing services through online platforms like Upwork.

Whether you’re a student, retiree, or professional looking to supplement your income, this article has everything you’ll need to know about the gig economy.

So, now that we’ve answered what is a gig economy, let’s focus on why you should get into it!

Pros of a Gig Economy

Increased flexibility for workers

Gig economy jobs often offer greater flexibility in terms of when and where work is done. This can be beneficial for individuals who value autonomy and control over their work schedules.

More job opportunities

It has created new job opportunities for people who may not have traditional qualifications or experience.

More job opportunities

Potential for higher earnings

Independent workers in the gig economy often have the ability to earn more than they would in traditional jobs. This is particularly if they are able to take on multiple gigs at once or charge higher rates for their services.

On the other hand, some of the downsides include…

Cons of the Gig Economy

Lack of job security

Gig economy workers typically do not have traditional employment contracts. So. they are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as permanent employees.

Limited access to benefits

Many gig workers are not eligible for benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Unpredictable income

The income of gig workers can be unpredictable and varies greatly, depending on the availability of work.

What Jobs Qualify As Part of The Gig Economy?

There are various types of gig economy jobs, such as food delivery and just about all online platform work. 

We will provide you with tips and advice on how to get started in the gig economy and how to succeed as a gig worker.

Driving for One or Ride-sharing

This includes services like Uber or Lyft. It involves using your own vehicle to transport passengers from one location to another. Drivers are typically able to set their own schedule and work as much or as little as they want. 

To get started, you’ll need to apply and pass a background check, as well as provide proof of your driver’s license and insurance. Some ride-sharing companies may also have specific requirements for the type of vehicle you can use.

Driving for One or Ride-sharing

Delivering Packages or Food

On-demand delivery services like Grubhub or Amazon Flexoff are a great way to join the gig economy. This type of job involves using your own vehicle to pick up and deliver packages or food to customers. 

Drivers are also typically able to set their own schedule and work whenever they want. But you have to meet the same requirements as above, even though you’re not actually transporting people.

Providing Services through Online Platforms

To get yourself started in the gig economy, one option is to utilize online platforms such as Upwork, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and Thumbtack. 

These sites allow you to offer your skills or expertise to businesses or individuals in need of your services. The range of services offered on these platforms is diverse and can include anything from writing, graphic design, and programming, to cleaning or handyman services. 

To start utilizing these gig platforms…

You would simply need to create a profile and start bidding on or applying to gigs that match your skills and interests.

Renting out a Room

Renting out a spare room or space in your home through platforms like Airbnb is one way to participate in the gig economy

This allows individuals to monetize their unused space and earn extra income by hosting travelers. 

Can anyone do this?

Yes! To get into this, you’ll just need to create a listing on Airbnb which includes information about your space and the amenities you offer. However, it’s important to be prepared to host guests in your home, which may involve tasks such as cleaning and providing fresh linens. 

Also, you should be prepared to interact with your guests, providing them with information and recommendations about the local area.

Selling Products on Online Marketplaces

This type of gig opportunity involves creating and selling products online through platforms such as Etsy or Amazon Handmade. 

It allows individuals to monetize their skills and creativity by creating, marketing, and selling a variety of products. This can be anything from handmade jewelry, to clothing, home decor, and digital goods like e-books or courses. 

Selling Products on Online Marketplaces

Great! How do I get started?

You will need to create an account on one or more of these platforms and set up an online shop. Each website will have specific guidelines on how to do this, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the individual processes around that. But it’s mostly pretty simple.

Providing Consulting or Coaching Services

Through platforms like Clarity or Coach.me, you can offer your expertise or knowledge in a particular field to help people solve problems, reach their goals, or improve their skills. 

This could include anything from business consulting to personal development coaching to professional mentoring. 

Creating and Selling Digital Products

Creating and selling digital products on platforms such as Gumroad or Sellfy is another way to go. So, there’s no product for physical delivery. Rather, you are offering fully digitized items like courses, templates, or stock photos for sale. 


Performing project-based work as a freelancer typically involves taking on various short-term or one-off projects. You then utilize your specialized skills and experience to complete them. This can range from graphic design to web development, writing, editing, photography, video production, and much more. 


However, to be successful as a freelancer, it’s important to have a strong portfolio of work. This must showcase your skills and experience, as well as the ability to market and promote your services. Therefore, you may want to build a professional website or online portfolio before using online platforms to find and apply for work.


Working as a consultant typically involves providing expert advice and guidance to clients in a particular industry or field. Relevant certifications or qualifications in your field will help to establish credibility and attract clients. 

Your work may include analyzing data, identifying problems and providing solutions, and helping clients to achieve their goals. Therefore, you’ll need a deep understanding of your industry, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients. 

What Qualification Does A Gig Economy Worker Need? 

The qualifications required for gig economy jobs can vary, depending on the specific role and type of work. 

Some jobs may require specific skills or certifications, while others may only require a basic level of education or experience, as outlined above.

But, to summarize…

Any driving services typically require a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Whereas consulting, coaching, or providing services through online platforms like Upwork or TaskRabbit typically requires a specific set of skills or expertise in a particular field.

Renting out rooms on Airbnb really only requires a spare room, a genuine willingness to host guests in your space, and the ability to pass a basic background check.

Want to Know About the Best Paid Gigs?

Of course, you do!

Take a look at these Top Easy Jobs That Pay Well, the Top Highest Paying Trade Jobs, the Best Remote Jobs That Pay WellCompanies That Hire for Remote Editing Jobs, all the High Paying Jobs Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree, and these 8 Apps That Let You Get Paid the Same Day throughout 2023!

We can also help you with the transition from earning a full-time salary to getting paid per hour or per gig. Find out 18 Dollars an Hour is How Much a YearHow Do I Convert Salary to Hourly to Calculate a Part-Time Rate, or all about the benefits or disadvantages of Salary vs Hourly Pay.

Ok, back to today’s question…

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the gig economy is a rapidly growing trend in the world of work. It offers individuals the opportunity to earn money through flexible and independent gig work. 

Overall, it is a viable option for many people looking to supplement their income or pursue a more flexible career path. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gig economy workers may not be eligible for the usual benefits or protections of traditional work, such as unemployment insurance.

Therefore, it is always good to have a backup plan. Gig work can be unpredictable, and you’ll need to have savings or a financial cushion to fall back on during times when work is scarce. 

Good luck with your gig!

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