How The Gig Economy Has Reshaped The Modern Workforce
Today’s economy is chock full of opportunities to make extra cash, build a side hustle, and ways to reinvent your career. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted millions of people to rethink how they work, with many becoming independent contractors or freelancers either by chance or because of need.
So, what is the gig economy, you may ask? Well, it’s defined by U.S. News and World Report as “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.”
Opportunities in gig work range from graphic design, freelance writing, food delivery drivers, and even grocery shoppers. The gig worker is the new face of the modern economy!
For myself and others, the gig economy has created copious amounts of opportunities: from grocery delivery to podcasting and rideshare driving: the list goes on and on. Platforms such as Instacart, Shipt, Fivver, and Uber have empowered people to grow their income and make a living through different types of revenue streams.
I’m here to share my story and the stories of several others who have harnessed the power of the gig economy.
Meet The Author
My name is Adam Palasciano, and I’m the Content Marketer for The Smart Wallet. I’m a very savvy shopper and saver who’s always on the hunt for a coupon, sale, or a good deal. But most of all, I’m also a strong advocate and proponent of the booming gig economy.
While I’ve become a content creator and writer, I still participate in the gig economy today. In the last two years of my college career, I discovered Instacart: the leading grocery delivery service in North America. I later found Shipt, a growing competitor that offers a similar grocery delivery service. First, you download the Instacart Shopper app or the Shipt Shopper app. Next, you’ll need to pass a quick background check. Then, wait for the app-connected Shopper debit card to arrive in the mail and you’ll be ready to accept orders right from your smartphone.
“Batches” or orders contain a grocery list at a local grocery store near you. Once you accept the order and arrive at the store, you then shop the customer’s order, pay for the items with the app-connected Shopper debit card, and deliver the items right to the customer’s doorstep: simple as that!
My experience as an Instacart and Shipt shopper these past few years has allowed me to earn lots of extra money on my own time. I boosted my gross income and earned money on a flexible schedule.
In fact, not only was I getting paid to shop (for other people, that is!), but I was netting about $150 per day from only 3-4 hours of part-time shopping. The flexibility of gig work allowed me to have a sizable income as a college student and supplement my income today.
Alright, enough about me! Let’s talk about two remarkable individuals that I had the pleasure of chatting with who have taken advantage of gig work platforms like Fivver and Uber to grow their businesses. One even bought a home!
Meet Terrance Hutchinson
Terrance Hutchinson of Decatur, Georgia is the CEO and Founder of Your Best Lifestyles Total Health and Wellness. He’s a certified health and wellness specialist that reversed type 2 diabetes within a few months with purposeful exercise, proper nutrition, stress management, and more.
He’s also the host of “Your Best Lifestyles Health and Wellness International Podcast” describing it as a “prescription for better health through an active lifestyle.” The podcast highlights lifestyle-related diseases and chronic conditions that can stop or slow down Activities Of Daily Living, otherwise known as “ADL.”
He focuses on topics such as human movement and performance, nutrition, joint pain, back pain, pre, and post-rehabilitation strategies, posture, flexibility, and more. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or non-athlete, handicapped, or disabled, Terrance highlights the benefits of excellent health and wellness every Saturday at 10 AM EST on his show.
As he was looking to grow his business, Terrance was able to leverage the digital freelance platform Fivver to boost awareness about his podcast and get paid guests on many of his podcast episodes! For $75, Terrance will interview you in an episode of his podcast, while the interviewee benefits from reaching an audience of about 100,000 people.
“My experience on Fivver, both pre-COVID and today, has helped grow my business so much as a freelancer. I’m now a level two seller and waiting for the Top Seller badge.”
Thanks to Fivver, Terrance is able to get podcast interviews from people from all over the world as paid guests. Additionally, he creates product reviews, business voice-overs, music placements, and more.
“Fivver has been a great place to build a brand and business from the comforts of my home and a great way to make extra money.”
Terrance successfully leveraged Fivver to boost his thriving podcast business and increase his income!
Meet Kaitlyn Ranze
Kaitlyn Ranze of Tampa, Florida is the Senior Education and Communications Manager at nav.it, a fintech start-up that focuses on behavioral economics and psychology to improve user spending habits.
Interestingly enough, Kaitlyn is also a former Uber driver! When she and her fiancé decided to buy a house in Tampa’s booming market, they knew they’d both have to work more to save enough for the down payment on a home they really wanted.
“Despite our professional careers in healthcare and engineering, we found ourselves being outbid on several homes. So, we paused our search and decided to pick up extra work. We each spent our weekends and multiple days of the week driving for Uber separately.”
Kaitlyn and her fiance were able to generate two additional revenue streams, in addition to each of their full-time salaries, to save for a down payment quickly. If that’s not the definition of go-getter, I don’t know what is!
“I really appreciated the simplicity of payment and the almost immediate return on time investment with weekly payments. Within six months, we saved up enough money to throw at a downpayment on our first home. Without Uber, it would’ve taken us a lot longer.”
Kaitlyn and her fiance successfully harnessed the power of the gig economy and boosted both of their incomes to buy a home together (that’s a big deal!). This is just another example of how anyone can take their work-life into their own hands and manifest their financial success.
The Bottom Line
There’s a gig job for everyone! Whether you choose to deliver groceries, market your digital skills online or become a rideshare driver on the weekends, many types of work can boost your income. We recommend an app called Steady, which is a free powerful resource to help you find gig work. With over 3 million users strong, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find a new side hustle too. Check it out and get hustling today!
Read More: Get Paid to Shop For Others: How Instacart Shoppers Surf the Gig Economy Wave