Many people are worrying about their ability to make ends meet as a result of the widespread closure of companies owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, things may grow far worse. The Federal Reserve has predicted that 47 million people might lose their employment in the worst event, as reported by CNBC. A rate that high is extremely high.
The future of traditional work in several industries is uncertain due to prolonged shutdowns and the rise of telecommuting. How do you expect to maintain your income level there?
The solution lies in the “gig” or “freelance” economy. Freelancing, driving for Uber, and renting out space on Airbnb are all examples of the “gig economy,” which refers to the variety of labor that can be found online and through nontraditional ways.
According to a Pew Research Center research from 2016, approximately 25% of all U.S. workers participate in the gig economy. And 36% of all U.S. workers do so in 2018, according to a Gallup survey tracking the “gig economy.”
Jobs in the “gig economy” are flexible, often allowing you to work from home, and pay well for the skills and equipment you already have. They can even be more profitable than regular employment sometimes.
Gig economy jobs don’t offer the same stability as regular employment, but they can be used in place of or in addition to regular employment. You’re also free to choose your own hours and work schedule.
Many people may get started working in the gig economy immediately, regardless of their background or experience. Gaining experience in various fields might help you find higher-paying jobs in the future.
The Advantages of the Gig Economy
Workers in the “gig economy,” also known as the “independent contractor” or “online platform worker,” do contract work or work for on-demand services like Uber, Fiverr, or DoorDash.
The Internet is the driving force behind the gig economy since it allows individuals to meet one another without resorting to more time-consuming and cumbersome offline methods, greatly speeding up the process by which goods and services are purchased and sold.
Since the advent of the gig economy, several formerly inaccessible professions have become much more affordable. For instance, Uber makes it possible for anybody with a car to earn money as a taxi driver without incurring the time and expense of obtaining the necessary certification. Similarly, independent writers might locate employers without the usual hoops to jump through.
The gig economy also allows workers more freedom in terms of when they work. For instance, if you want to make the most money as an Uber driver, you might choose to work only during the morning and evening rush hours, when demand is highest.
Last but not least, depending on the job, working in the gig economy might be more lucrative than traditional employment. One CNBC study from 2019 noted that among Upwork’s freelancers, one-third made $50 or more per hour. One way to supplement income from a 9 to 5 job is to take up a second, related job outside of regular business hours.
In the gig economy, your success is directly proportional to your level of motivation and hard work, as your earnings are based on your output and performance. Furthermore, if gig work is your only source of income, you will be responsible for handling many of the financial responsibilities that more traditional businesses would normally shoulder. You must educate yourself on the tax implications of freelancing and the practicalities of surviving in an income-only work environment.
Nonetheless, if you have a strong work ethic and the appropriate set of abilities, you may make a career doing gig labor, which is increasingly prevalent in today’s market. Further, if you do a fantastic job for a certain customer, you can be offered permanent employment with salary and perks.
Jobs in the Gig Economy You Can Start Right Now
Your earning potential in the gig economy, like that in the traditional workforce, is directly proportional to your level of experience and the quality of your qualifications. Jobs in the “gig economy” are being created all the time, and many of them need little to no experience or education beyond what you probably already have.
Working for a ridesharing business that converts private vehicles into taxis is one of the most sought-after gig economy occupations. Users have flocked to ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Bolt because they are more cost-effective and more convenient than regular taxis.
You need a car and a smartphone to use a ridesharing service, and there is usually a background check and an application procedure where you learn the rules and guidelines of the service. With this method, you can get paid nearly instantly.
Working for a ridesharing service allows you to choose your own schedule and requires little in the way of special equipment or expertise. The increasing prevalence of ridesharing services means that it’s not hard to locate someone to transport. Tipping is another source of income for drivers of ridesharing services. According to a survey by 2020 Gridwise, Uber and Lyft drivers make between $12.5 and $22 per hour on average.
Keep in mind that not everywhere has access to ridesharing services. It might be difficult to get work with a ridesharing company if you don’t reside in or near a big metropolis. Investigate the facilities that are offered in your neighborhood.
On-demand delivery services have made it possible to have nearly any product sent directly to your home. In the past, only a few restaurants offered home delivery, but now, thanks to apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats, this sector has exploded. There’s also Postmates, which doesn’t just carry food but everything you can imagine. Wine, food, and even your own things are all within its delivery capabilities. These platforms, similar to ridesharing services, will pay you to deliver food to customers.
Contrary to ridesharing, which also needs a vehicle, delivery jobs typically only require a smartphone. Bicycle and motorbike courier work is plentiful in the restaurant industry. The business of food delivery may be highly lucrative very quickly.
The expanding market for delivery services has created several new opportunities for entrepreneurs. In certain cases, users of these services might earn money through a combination of delivery fees and tips. According to USA Today, the average hourly wage for delivery drivers is $11.
Subletting your unused apartment, house, or other property on a vacation rental website is a great option if you have extra space. When you use a subletting service, you may rent out your home to visitors, transients, and other short-term renters. HomeAway, Vrbo, and FlipKey are just a few of Airbnb’s many rivals.
Since hotels don’t always provide a true taste of a destination, subletting services have gained popularity in recent years. Usually, they may save you money as well. If you happen to reside in or close to a well-known tourist location, you may find that renting out your home on Airbnb yields very high profits. It is also possible, in some areas, to buy flats or houses and then rent them out through Airbnb. Earnest found in 2017 that hosts on Airbnb make the most money in the gig economy, with an average monthly income of $924.
It’s important to be aware that hosting services have been outright outlawed in several municipalities and nations. Many American property management companies, for instance, have policies against tenants or owners subletting their apartments. It may be necessary to ask permission from other people. Renting out your property on Airbnb and similar services may not be allowed depending on local ordinances or the terms of your lease.
In major metropolitan areas, dog walking services are frequently utilized by working professionals who are too busy throughout the day to take their pets for a walk. Making some additional money while doing something you enjoy might be as simple as walking dogs.
Apps like Rover make it easy to find dog sitting and walking jobs in your area. Glassdoor has published an analysis of Rover dog walkers’ average hourly pay, and they report an average wage of $16.
Cleaning services, offered through apps like Handy and Care.com, are another common type of gig economy work. You can clean on the side if you already have a full-time job, or you can schedule enough cleaning jobs for a whole week.
Payscale reports that the median hourly wage for a Handy cleaner is $17, despite the fact that customers are sometimes required to provide their own cleaning products.
Other Easy Gigs
There are far too many potential side businesses at the moment to name them all. Using a service like Thumbtack, for instance, you may earn money by performing tasks like furniture assembly and relocation.
And because Staffy is a digital agency, you may use it to apply for employment the very same day in many different industries. Check out our list of the top five most common part-time jobs for even more inspiration.
How to Make Money in the Gig Economy Using Your Skills
It is possible to make a living without going into the traditional job market by selling your skills and knowledge online. The following are some common examples of careers that may be done from home.
Freelance Writing, Editing, or Translating
Freelance writing, editing, and proofreading are common methods of earning money in the “gig economy.” Depending on their field of expertise and experience, a talented freelance writer might earn anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour, as reported by Copyblogger.
However, seasoned freelance writers on Upwork typically make $30 to $50 per hour.
Everything from blog articles and educational material to the more specialized fields of legal writing, academic writing, technical writing, and medical writing fall under the umbrella of freelance writing.
A specialist writer may usually command a greater fee than one who writes in a more wide field. In addition, the financial potential for authors who launch their own popular blogs is considerably bigger if they successfully monetize their work. If that interests you, check out Blogging.com’s comprehensive how-to tutorial.
To do freelance writing and editing, all you need is access to a computer and the Internet. As long as you have a computer and access to the internet, you may work as a freelance writer from anywhere in the world.
Freelance translation is another viable option for those with language skills who want to work from home. Due to the scarcity of bilingual workers, independent translators have few problems keeping clients. If you speak a language that is both in demand and difficult to acquire, like Mandarin Chinese or Japanese, you will have several options to pursue. As of March 2020, Zip Recruiter reported that the average hourly wage for a freelance translation in the United States was $29/hour. However, there is a potential increase to $74/h.
Coding, short for computer programming, has become increasingly digital as a result of faster Internet and remote work. Remote work is increasingly commonplace in this sector.
Given the relative difficulty of learning programming languages like Python, SQL, and Java (among others), freelance programmers can charge hefty rates. According to Career Karma, a typical software developer may expect to make around $60 per hour.
There are a lot of tools available to assist you learn to code if you don’t already know how. Websites like Udemy provide in-depth online courses taught by certified industry specialists on a wide variety of topics, including computer programming. There may be low-cost or no-cost courses available online if you only need to brush up on your knowledge.
Many organizations and people use the services of accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs) to better manage their financial records. In today’s gig economy, it’s possible to run a remote accounting practice from the comfort of your own home. Forbes estimates that the hourly rate of a qualified freelance accountant might reach $215.
Experience in the legal field may be put to good use in the on-demand economy. CNBC reports that hourly rates for legal services such as business formation, trademark advice, and trade law may reach $85 on platforms like Upwork.
Due to the ever-changing nature of computer technology and the requirement for businesses to maintain their systems working, information technology (IT) professionals are in great demand. Upwork reports that the hourly pay for IT strategy jobs on its platform can reach as much as $165.
Other Gig Economy Jobs
Many of the skills and abilities you already possess are very transferable to the freelance sector. If you have expertise in the classroom and would like to put that knowledge to use, you may do so through a variety of online venues, including VIPkid and Education First.
High-paying gigs in the art world, the mental health field, and the financial consultancy industry are just a few examples. Jobs like this are desirable because of the high compensation and the benefits of working from home.
Today, more and more people are turning to freelancing as a full-time occupation; it’s no longer simply a hobby for the ambitious. With the advent of the gig economy, millions of people have been able to work when they want, how much they want, and where they want to. According to Mastercard’s projections, by 2023, more than half of all American employees would engage in the gig economy in some capacity.