The “gig” economy can be savior or quicksand
➔ Among the new wrinkles to today’s ever-changing job market and workforce is the concept of the “gig” economy.
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, according to investopedia.com, “in a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.”
How popular is it?
According to McKinsey & Company estimates there are roughly between 56-86 million or 20-30 percent of the workforce in the USA and EU who belong to the gig economy. These numbers have been steadily rising over the past decade and have shown a sharp increase since the onset of the pandemic.
How does this affect the 50+ job seeker like you? Most gig workers are temporary or contract employees who work from home and most gig work can be done on a computer and/or through the internet. Uber drivers are usually considered participants in the gig economy.
If there are gig jobs that you can do that fit that bill, that are right for you, gig work can bring in some much needed revenue and it’s something current that you can put on your resume. Those are all pluses for you.
There is, of course, a downside. For many gig workers, the bottom line tends to be a lot smaller than advertised. If they tell you that you can make $100,000 a year working 10-20 hours per week from home, you might want to get a second opinion.
According to reports in The New York Times and others, many gig workers are fighting back against gig employers who skim considerable sums off the top, leaving the workers with little for their efforts.
The word to the wise is be diligent. Don’t take their word for it. Check with other employees or other gig workers. It’s age-old advice but, look before you leap.