This episode, Mak and G talk about the rising popularity of ‘gig jobs’, where people are getting this type of work, and the benefits and risks of working in the gig industry…
Nothing’s better than getting paid to do something you love, making money in your free time doing a hobby in the gig economy.
But what exactly can you do in the gig economy? Where do you find these jobs and is it really all positives or are there some downsides too?
Mak and G answer these questions as they dive into the growing world of the gig economy…
“Gig jobs can be feast or famine, or anywhere in between which means your pay can change a lot.” – Mak
“One-half of US workers will be involved in the gig community by 2027.” – Mak
“It really opens up your opportunities to do what you love, find others to help you, or dabble in a hobby while making some money.” – G
00:13 – What a gig economy is and where it originated from.
02:12 – Different types of gig work and the different industries it covers.
02:51 – The benefits of working a gig job.
03:42 – Different companies that focus on gig work and jobs in the gig industries
04:04 – The drawbacks of working a gig job and the risks of ‘burnout’.
05:06 – The different platforms that offer gig jobs.
06:37 – Some of the strange services offered in the gig economy.
07:45 – The way the gig economy can improve your life.
Connect with Ben Jones:
MAK: Welcome back to Money with Mak &G. Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Comment on the podcast. We’d really appreciate it! Hey, I was doing a little reading last week, and I ran across something called the “Gig” Economy. It sounded pretty interesting.
GRANT: You know if it has the word “economy” in it dad is on board. He loves to know about ANY economy, since it’s all about how the money moves around.
MAK: Well, this economy is bigger than I thought, so it made me dig in a bit. First of all, I wanted to know where the word “GIG” came from. We use GIG when talking about storage for a computer, which is short for a Gigabyte of data.
GRANT: You know that sounds familiar. Didn’t dad use the word “GIG” when talking about seeing his buddy play music in bars back in Chicago when we lived there?
MAK: Yes, exactly. It’s a word used for a live musical performance. Just like the ones dad’s buddy did. It refers to the set of music that the musician will play. For most of those musicians, it’s not a 9-5 job, but usually shorter and it’s sometimes called a “5 to 9” job.
GRANT: Sounds like it can happen after your regular job, if you’re an employee. By the way, is it short for some longer word, like “gig” is to gigabyte for computer storage?
MAK: Funny you should say that, because it was a phrase that was “coined” in the 1920’s by Jazz musicians.
GRANT: Did you say “coined”? Dad is going to LOVE this topic. Coins and a new economy. I’m going to assume that “coined” means the jazz musicians were the first to use the word?
MAK: Yep, that’s what I found out. Kind of like Snoop Dogg saying “Fo Shizzle My Nizzle” which means “For Sure, My Friend”. The word “Gig” is actually short for a musical “engagement”.
GRANT: If I have this right “My Nizzle”, it’s a set of songs, started by jazz musicians in the ‘20’s and is short for engagement? But, if that’s true, shouldn’t it be called a “gag”, since it’s “e-n-G-A-G”?
MAK: Nice catch. You definitely have a point “Fo Shizzle” (stressing), but I don’t think they could have sold that one. The “GAG (emphasizing) Economy” just doesn’t sound right.
GRANT: You’re right. So, people in the “Gig Economy” do shorter jobs, usually after normal hours? Do you remember the British guy dad worked with that was living in Switzerland? He helped to write some articles on money. Then there was a marketing guy he hired in Cairo.
MAK: There are LOTS of jobs done this way, all over the world. Our government definition of “gig” work says that it covers personal service activities, such as child care, house cleaning, or ride-sharing, as well as selling goods online or renting out property.
GRANT: That sure covers a lot. Do you think it’s good or bad? Did you do any research on that?
MAK: I did. First, it’s pretty easy to get started. It doesn’t require a lot of time and money. It’s also flexible, which means you can work from anywhere, and on your own schedule. For many gig jobs, you don’t have to drive to work, pay for gas, parking, lunches or buy new clothes. You can work around any of the other things you have to do like taking the kids to practice or singing concerts..LA LA LA, or to go to a basketball game and watch your kids score- 2 POINTS.
GRANT: Those are definitely some benefits. Now, if these are smaller jobs or projects, it sounds like you have a lot more independence and can do a full-time job. Someone is not looking over your shoulder all day, and you can choose the jobs you want. Unlike dad, you can try out new and different jobs. How about naming a few types of jobs in the gig economy.You in?
MAK: Sure. Ridesharing or taxi driver
GRANT: Making deliveries
MAK: Software programming
GRANT: Digital marketing
GRANT: Education and training
MAK: Nice job G. How about we name some of the companies that focus on Gig work.
GRANT: I’m in. Uber and Lyft
GRANT: Amazon Flex
GRANT: Task Rabbit
MAK: It can’t be all just good news, right? Some of the “cons” or drawbacks of a gig job is that the pay usually isn’t as much as a permanent job. You probably won’t get benefits like health insurance, help paying for school, retirement and other stuff. Competition could be from anywhere in the world. If you’re an employee, your paycheck is pretty consistent. Gig jobs can be “feast or famine”, or anywhere in between, which means your pay can change a lot.
GRANT: It also said that only about 20% of people make gigs they’re ENTIRE income. Anyone can do gigs. But it’s split evenly between men and women. I’m sure dad would also point out that you’re now responsible for your own taxes. So you may need a little help doing them, and you’ll pay more because you’re now an “independent contractor”. Bummer. On one website they also talked about the stress and burnout of gig jobs. You have to always be looking for new jobs and sometimes working some “off” hours takes its toll as well as other stuff.
MAK: I think you have a good point. But, you could go after your passion, if you love to write, for instance. That’s got to be worth something. It’s time to mention the Gig PLATFORMS. For Uber, you sign up on their website. But, there are websites for those who want different types of gigs.
GRANT: There are some VERY big companies out there who have an online platform which connects those who want to work with those looking for help. UpWork is a large gig community. They actually went public with the sale of their stock in 2018. That should tell you it’s a big deal.
MAK: You’re right. And it’s stock from the beginning of COVID in 2020 to now went from about $6 to $60. That shows you how COVID really added gasoline to the Gig Economy fire. One statistic I saw is a belief that about ½ of US workers will be involved in the “Gig Community” by 2027. However, with COVID it’ll probably be MUCH sooner.
GRANT: If you’ve never heard of these platforms, let’s name a few more:
MAK: Fancy Hands
GRANT: There are definitely others, but you can buy a service or sell one there. Hey, it’s a marketplace, bringing buyers and sellers together. Each person is rated. You can see how long they’ve been doing their service, see comments, prior work and more. If you need a new logo, like the Nike “swoosh”, there are people out there who do that.
MAK: It’s actually like buying a product on Amazon. You search for what you want, see pictures of the provider, see reviews and comments, then you can pull the trigger. I found some really interesting services out there. Want to hear some?
GRANT: Sure, lay ‘em on me Mak!
MAK: I read that there are a bunch of people on Fiverr who will perform a spell, charm or vex. Remember the show “Just Add Magic”? The cookbook was filled with magic recipes that could do anything, like “Shut ‘Em Up Shortcake”. I bet you could figure out what that does.
GRANT: Or….”Bitter Truth Truffles”, if you need someone to tell the truth.
MAK: We could definitely use a bit more of that in the world: chocolate AND the truth!! Mystic Zoe, as she’s called on Fiverr, has hundreds of five-star ratings. Most of her magic is about love and attraction. Hey, if you have a talent and passion, it sounds like you can make some money.
GRANT: You are so right. Here’s one Mak. SUKAN747 will buy 5 living fish from the local market that normally would go on the dinner table. He will then release them back into the wild. He has over 200, 5-star reviews! I guess there are a lot of people who are happy to pay a small amount of money for a quick smile or to feel like they made some sort of difference in the world.
MAK: Wow, the Gig Economy isn’t what I expected. No matter whether you do accounting, cast spells, become a virtual assistant, digital marketer, have someone draw you as a mermaid, write computer code or release fish, you can do it in the gig economy. It really opens up your opportunities to do what you love, find others to help you or dabble in a hobby while making some money. If your budget is tight, you can add a little extra work here and there….
GRANT: You’re so right. It could really help you start to save for the future. A couple extra bucks doing something you love shouldn’t really feel like work. There are millions and millions of people spending AND receiving money in the Gig Economy. So, it’s big and important.
MAK: If you have a second to check it out, who knows what you’ll find. You can pick up a gig or have someone help you write that book you always wanted to write!!!
GRANT: You are so write. Maybe grandma can find someone to help around the house!! Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you next time for more…
MAK/GRANT: Money with Mak & G!!! Bye!!