Do You Have What it takes to be a “GIG” Economy Worker?
The GIG economy. Predictions claim that in 2020, 40 percent of workers in the United States will be independent workers, also known as GIG workers (Intuit Research). Time Magazine suggests that 1 in 5 Americans are working in the GIG economy today. That is a lot of 1099’s!
For employers who can accomplish their goals using GIG workers to do projects instead of employees are hitting a homerun. They save huge money on taxes and benefits since most GIG workers have to cover all of these things themselves. They also get a chance to audition you for more GIG’s in the future or possibly a full time job. The challenge for employers is making sure GIG workers are classified correctly to the Internal Revenue Service approval. The other big challenge is understanding that a GIG worker can also work for a competitor at the same time and it may limit the types of projects they are able to send to freelancers.
Are you a GIG worker?
You’d better have a few of the things on this list if you want to participate:
- For the most part, you enjoy working independently.
- You understand that you only make money when you are actually working. (No 2 week paid vacations.)
- You can manage your finances so you know how many GIG’s you need to make the kind of money you require to live, save and pay your taxes.
- Be able to know what it costs you to GIG by keeping track of your overhead in tolls, gas, software upgrades and supplies.
- Be able to handle the fact that on Monday, you may not have any idea what type of money you will make by the end of the week.
When thinking about GIG jobs, most people think about Uber. Uber has brought to light how the GIG economy will work. Find a service like driving, tutoring, babysitting, programming, graphic design, grocery shopping, and so many other areas and you can probably find a company that uses 1099’s to provide that service. Access to a GIG job is as easy as signing up and letting the service provider (not employer) know when you can work. The flexibility for the worker is amazing and is just one more reason why so many people are going the GIG route.
Do you have what it takes to be a GIG worker? If you are just looking for supplemental income, GIG jobs should be a great fit. Try job board sites like Flexjobs.com and Elance.com to find GIG jobs. Specific companies like Uber, Lyft, Honor (home healthcare), Postmates and Blue Crew have direct positions.
As the GIG economy grows, there will be more ways to access these jobs in all industries. One word of caution; be very careful with sites like Craigslist who post GIG jobs. The new scam is to post some job that promises to pay $200-$600 as a GIG worker and makes you apply, gathers all your personal information and the job never happens but your identity is stolen. The other scam is that some companies claim they need a $30.00 processing fee with your application to begin your GIG. These are all scams and it’s why you have to be 100% sure that you are applying to a legitimate company.
The biggest challenge I see to the GIG economy is for workers who really want a full time career and a place to actually go to work and interact with other employees. A GIG worker is always on commission and will only get paid for what they do, not for what they don’t do. If you are a driver, you’re a driver and you will be most likely never get a promotion, health benefits (paid by company) and the ability to learn other skills.
In my opinion, most companies will continue to employ full time workers so they can maintain control over their products and services as well as maintain a stable workforce. The GIG economy will certainly supplement some of those areas (website programming, design, lunch delivery, postal packages, etc.) but for those that want a growing career, I am confident that paid jobs with benefits will always be in play.