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Gig Working: A Paradigm Shift or a Pandemic Induced Shift?

Gig Working: A Paradigm Shift or a Pandemic Induced Shift?
Photo by Samsung UK / Unsplash

The gig economy, also known as the sharing economy or the on-demand economy, refers to the growing trend of people earning money through short-term or freelance work. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, as more and more people are turning to gig work as a way to make ends meet during the economic downturn.

Gig work can take many forms, from driving for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, to delivering food for companies like DoorDash and GrubHub, to performing various tasks for clients on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

While the gig economy has been growing for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated its growth. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of gig workers reported that they started gig work for the first time during the pandemic.

So, is the growth of the gig economy a permanent paradigm shift, or is it simply a temporary response to the economic impacts of the pandemic? The answer is likely somewhere in between.

Advantages of Gig Work

For many people, gig work offers a number of benefits over traditional full-time employment. For one, gig work can offer more flexible schedules, allowing workers to set their own hours and take time off when needed. Additionally, gig work often doesn't require a traditional 9-to-5 commitment, making it a great option for people who have other responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly family members.

Another advantage of gig work is the ability to earn money on the side while still maintaining a full-time job. This can be especially beneficial for people who are looking to supplement their income or save for a big purchase.

Finally, gig work can also provide an opportunity for people to explore new career paths and develop new skills. For example, someone who has experience as a graphic designer can offer their services on a platform like Fiverr, while also learning how to market their services and manage clients.

Challenges of Gig Work

While gig work offers many benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges. For one, gig work often lacks the stability and security of traditional full-time employment. Workers may find themselves without work for weeks or even months at a time, making it difficult to plan for the future and save for retirement.

Another challenge of gig work is the lack of benefits. Traditional full-time employees often receive health insurance, paid time off, and other benefits, but gig workers are often left on their own when it comes to these important areas.

Finally, gig work can also be isolating, as workers often don't have the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues and other workers. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection, especially for people who are used to working in a traditional office setting.

The Future of Gig Work

Despite the challenges, the gig economy is here to stay. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the trend towards gig work is only going to continue to grow in the coming years.

That being said, it's important for policymakers to address the challenges of gig work, such as lack of benefits and job security, to ensure that gig workers are able to thrive in the new economy. This could include providing gig workers with access to benefits like health insurance and paid time off, as well as creating new protections for gig workers to ensure that they are paid fairly for their work.

Ultimately, the future of the gig economy will depend on the ability of gig workers to advocate for their rights and for policymakers to create a supportive environment for gig work to thrive. Pro Tips for Success in the Gig Economy

If you're thinking of entering the gig economy, or you're already a gig worker and want to increase your earning potential, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  1. Choose a gig that aligns with your skills and interests. You'll be more successful and enjoy your work more if you choose a gig that you're good at and that you're passionate about.
  2. Build a strong online presence. Many gig work opportunities are found through online platforms, so having a strong online presence, including a professional website and social media accounts, can help you stand out from the competition.
  3. Network with other gig workers. Joining online communities and attending industry events can help you connect with other gig workers and learn about new opportunities.
  4. Be proactive about marketing your services. Whether it's through social media, online advertising, or word of mouth, make sure you're actively promoting your services and reaching out to potential clients.
  5. Set realistic expectations for your earnings. While gig work can be a great way to supplement your income, it may not replace a full-time salary, especially in the beginning. Be sure to set realistic expectations for your earnings and plan accordingly.
  6. Stay organized. Gig work often involves working with multiple clients and juggling multiple projects, so it's important to stay organized and keep track of your earnings and expenses.
  7. Take advantage of financial tools and resources. There are many financial tools and resources available to gig workers, including invoicing and payment platforms, tax preparation software, and budgeting apps. Make sure you're taking advantage of these resources to help you manage your finances and grow your business.


Gig work can be a great way to supplement your income, gain new skills, and explore new career paths. With the right approach and the right tools, you can be successful in the gig economy and thrive in the new economy.

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