How the Gig Economy Is Changing the Definition of a 'Job'

How the Gig Economy Is Changing the Definition of a 'Job'
From Recruiter - August 19, 2017

The gig economy has grown significantly in recent years. In fact, one study found that 94 percent of the net job growth between 2005 and 2015 occurred in the realm of alternative work, which includes the gig economy. This growth has given many people the opportunity to let their hair down, so to speak, and earn income without the stress of a traditional 9-5 job.

Workers used to seefull-time jobs with large companies and regular paychecks as secure, but this vision has lost some of its appeal, especially for millennials. A recent Pew Research Center studyfound that63 percent of Americans believe jobs are less secure now than they were 20-30 years ago and that 51 percent of Americans believe jobs will become even less secure in the future.

As traditional work loses its luster, the gig economy is extending into almost every industry, with transportation being one of the most prominent. One rideshare driver I spoke to in Chicago said an independent transportation company was an inspiration to change her life.

This driver formerly worked 23 years for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and had to quickly consider her options when the transit hub offered her a new employment package. Accepting the package would have meant being bound by another ten-year contract, so this driver decided to take an early retirement. She left the CTA, laughing all the way to the bank.

Ridesharing allows this driver to drive her own car on her own schedule. This freedom gave her, at the age of 42, the opportunity to leave a steady job she had held since she was 19 and find an alternative role that gave her the flexibility she needed to focus on herself and her family.

The Gig Economy: The New Normal

Many millennials are turning togig economy platforms for the same reasons as the driver did. They want good work/life balances while earning decent incomes, and theyre not interested in keeping the same roles for 30 years.

Like the baby boomers preceding them, millennials also seek steady, well-paying employment, but where they find that employment differs significantly from where previous generations found it. By allowing millennials to become contract workers rather than employees, the gig economy has given them the chance to be more entrepreneurial in their careers.

The gig economy is a hot trend, the new normal among business models, says Jesse Silkoff, CEO and founder ofFitnessTrainer, a gig work platform for personal trainers.

Silkoff is very optimistic about the continued growth of the gig economy, and he has reason to be. Over the last two decades, the number of gig workers growby 27 percent more than the number of payroll employees did, according to CNBC.


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