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How to Effectively Work and Succeed in the Gig Economy

The gig economy and how to succeed
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There are many ways to work and succeed in the gig economy. There are about 435 million gig workers worldwide and work has become more mobile. Also, most people who are a part of the digital age can take their work anywhere. 

The gig economy has helped people find work when they don’t have a full-time job. It has also helped small businesses as well. They can find hourly employees to do small projects and gigs while not having to pay someone full-time and offer benefits. 

Examples of Gig Workers

Gig workers are people who work on a temporary, freelance, or independent basis, often for multiple clients or companies. Here are some examples of gig workers:

  • Ride-share drivers: People who work for companies like Uber, Lyft, or Grab, providing transportation services to passengers.
  • Food delivery couriers: Workers who deliver food orders from restaurants to customers’ homes or offices, often through platforms like DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Deliveroo.
  • Freelance writers/editors: People who write articles, blog posts, or other content on a freelance basis for various clients.
  • Graphic designers: Freelancers who create visual content such as logos, illustrations, or website designs for clients.
  • Photographers/videographers: Independent contractors who provide photography or videography services for events, weddings, businesses, or individuals.
  • Virtual assistants: Individuals who offer clerical support remotely to businesses or entrepreneurs, handling tasks such as email management, scheduling, and research.
  • Online tutors: Freelancers who provide tutoring or educational services over the internet, teaching subjects like math, language, or music to students of all ages.
  • Handyworkers: Workers who offer services such as home repairs, cleaning, gardening, or pet sitting on a freelance basis.
  • Event staff: Freelancers who work as event planners, coordinators, caterers, or servers for various events such as weddings, conferences, or parties.
  • Consultants: Independent professionals who provide specialized expertise and advice to businesses or organizations in areas such as management, marketing, finance, or IT.
  • Selling Physical or Digital Products: People who sell products in a specific niche on sites like Etsy.

What is the Gig Economy?

In the gig economy, workers have more flexibility over when and how much they work. However, they usually don’t get benefits like health insurance or paid time off.

Because of technology, many people who have been laid off, quit their jobs, or have retired have been able to take on short-term projects for different clients. It is also a market for people who tend to get bored in the same role or want to have flexibility in their work. 

For a small business, hiring gig workers saves on office space, pay, and benefits. For a gig worker, it offers the flexibility to set hours for different clients and can help with work-life balance. 

Who are the people working in the gig economy? Even though Gen Z is the biggest group in the gig economy, others do too. Students, retirees, stay-at-home parents, people who have been laid off, or even workers who got tired of working in high-stress environments. 

It is for those who can work a more flexible schedule. Many gig workers are working several different jobs and enjoy the flexibility. Working in the gig economy can be part-time or full-time. 

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Gig Economy Sites

There are many gig economy apps to find jobs that match your talents and see what fits you best. 

You can even find sites if you are interested in lawncare or being a handyman. Additionally, the gig economy offers work for a variety of functions and jobs. Whatever you like to do, most likely there is a site which offers that type of work. 

Also, you may want to register for several sites giving you the flexibility to complete as many projects as you like. 

Pros and Cons of Working in the Gig Economy


  • Flexibility: You can choose when and where you work, fitting gigs around your schedule.
  • Variety: You get to work on different projects and with different clients, keeping things interesting.
  • Independence: You’re your own boss, making your own decisions about your work.
  • Extra Income: It’s a way to make money on the side or between jobs.


  • Unstable Income: Your income can vary from month to month, making budgeting difficult.
  • No Benefits: You don’t get benefits like health insurance or paid time off.
  • Job Insecurity: You might not always have work lined up, leading to uncertainty.
  • More Responsibilities: You have to handle your own taxes and other business aspects.

Also, if you don’t belong to a site that guarantees payment, you may not be paid timely or accurately. Pick sites that offer you guarantees. Furthermore, ensure local businesses give you the dates when you will get paid if you are not working through a guaranteed payment site. If you are working through a contract, ensure that the contract specifies payment guarantees and dates. 

Embrace Flexibility 

  • Set Your Schedule: One of the best things about working in the gig economy is that you get to choose when you work. Decide what times of day or days of the week work best for you and plan your gigs around those times.
  • Be Open to Different Opportunities: Flexibility also means being open to trying different types of gigs. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of work – explore different options and see what fits best with your skills and schedule.
  • Stay Organized: With flexibility comes responsibility. Keep track of your gigs, deadlines, and appointments using tools like calendars or scheduling apps. This helps you stay on top of your commitments and manage your time effectively.
  • Adapt to Changes: Things in the gig economy can change quickly, so be prepared to adapt. Stay flexible and open-minded when it comes to new opportunities or changes in your schedule.
  • Take Breaks When Needed: Flexibility doesn’t mean working non-stop. Make sure to schedule breaks and downtime to rest and recharge. Taking care of yourself is important for maintaining your energy and productivity.
  • Communicate Clearly: If you need to make changes to your schedule or availability, communicate with your clients or employers as soon as possible. Clear communication helps everyone involved understand expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

Use a Time Tracking App

If you are working with multiple clients, track each job and the time you spend on each service. Track your hours so you know exactly how much you should get paid. Using a time-tracking app like ezClocker allows you to bill your customer for time spent. A time clock also helps you know how much to charge your customer and figure out where your hours are spent. By using this tool, you can easily grow your freelance business.


It is important to know that in most cases you will be responsible for your own taxes. Most clients pay in full and don’t deduct taxes. Keep this in mind when bidding on projects. Additionally, you may go lower in price in the beginning because you are new and want good reviews. But once you have established your brand and reputation, you should be getting paid fairly for the work you do. Establish your hourly rate by your knowledge and expertise. 

Don’t underprice or overprice your services. Research best practices online. 

Staying Relevant and Competitive in the Gig Economy

To do well in the gig economy, you have to stay sharp and ahead of the competition. Here’s how:

  • Keep Learning: Keep learning new things to stay ahead. This could mean taking online classes, going to workshops, or reading books.
  • Make Connections: Get to know others in your field. Making friends can help you find new jobs and know what’s going on in your industry.
  • Show What You Can Do: Make sure people know about your skills. Show off your best work in a portfolio or online profile.
  • Be Ready for Change: Be ready to learn new things and do things differently. Technology changes fast, so it’s important to be flexible.
  • Ask for Advice: It’s okay to ask for advice from your clients or coworkers. Hearing what others think can help you get better at what you do.
  • Tell People About Yourself: Don’t be afraid to talk about what you do. Use social media, websites, and word-of-mouth to let people know about your skills.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with what’s happening in your field. Read blogs, go to meetings, and join online groups to stay in the loop.
  • Focus on Quality: It’s better to do a few things really well than a lot of things okay. Doing good work makes people happy and brings them back for more.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing is that you do what you promise. Also, most of these sites offer ratings for workers so you want to be professional at each gig. As you get better and do what your clients want, you will become a success in the gig economy. 

As more projects come in, you can hire your own gig workers to help with the workload. 

Working in the gig economy can be challenging at first. Furthermore, research different sites and find the jobs you know you can do well. Expand your knowledge too. You may find you have other skills as well. Find jobs you really enjoy doing and ensure your clients are happy. Guarantee your work and offer refunds if you don’t do what you promise.


Author: Kimberley Kay Travis

Kim Travis has over 20 years of experience in business, human resource management, and leadership roles. She has specialized knowledge in employment law, employee relations, recruiting, management consulting, small business growth, leadership development, workplace safety and health programs, and writing business content.