A College Student’s Guide to Making Money in the Gig Economy

By Connor Flint
July 25, 2019

Remember those things called finals? Me neither. The sun is out, you have reunited with hometown friends, and summer couldn’t get much better. That is until you have the realization that every college student has: I NEED money. Finding ways to make money around beach days, campfires, and road trips can be extremely difficult. I have the answer for you: the gig economy.

 

If the gig economy sounds familiar, there’s a good chance that you’ve already participated in it. Have you ever babysat before? Yes, that’s part of the gig economy. Taken an Uber? Uh-huh. Got paid to walk a dog? That counts too. The gig economy consists of on-demand work called gigs. Gigs are temporary jobs assigned to an independent worker for a specified period of time. Thousands of gigs are listed online. The purpose of this blog is to give you the scoop on the gig economy, so you can spend more time in the sun and less time worrying about making money.

 

Step 1: Create a Profile

The first step towards landing a job is creating a profile on an on-demand platform of your choice. Similar to social media profiles, your freelance profile provides hiring managers with a brief overview of who you are. You will most likely be asked to provide a professional photo, past employment history, certifications, and direct deposit information. Your profile is a major factor that a hiring manager will use when making their hiring decisions. A well-selected profile picture, good grammar, and relevant work experience will improve your chances of getting picked from the rest of the candidates!

 

Step 2: Look for jobs

Here comes the fun part, picking which position you want! No, not the job your boss is telling you to do. YOU get to choose when you want to work and the task you want to perform.

The amount of job listings you see at first might be daunting. Sorting positions by location and job type is a great strategy to make the search process more manageable. Some openings have specific requirements for the worker, so it is important to read the job description when applying for a position!

 

Step 3: Apply for a job

Once you’ve set your eyes on a gig that excites you, it’s time to apply! This step shouldn’t be too difficult as it usually just takes answering a few brief questions. The application is the gig equivalent of an in-person interview, so take it seriously! If you are accepted for the job, you will be presented with information about the job and contact information for the on-site manager.

 

Step 4: Prepare for your first job

There are a few steps you can take before your first gig job to make sure the experience goes smoothly. First, look at the details of the job before the day of the event. Important information that you should look for is the location (not just the address) and the dress code. The on-site managers are a great resource throughout this whole process if you have questions!

Like all other jobs, the expectation is that you will arrive on time. Some jobs allow you to track your hours by checking in and out of the shift using a mobile device. As an added layer of security, it’s always recommended to check in and out with an on-site manager to avoid payment discrepancies later on.

 

Step 5: I completed my first job. Now What?

 

 

First off…. Congrats! And now, to the most important part: getting paid.

Because some gig jobs require money to pass through multiple bank accounts before it gets to you, getting paid could take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. It’s important to know that taxes will most likely NOT be withheld from your pay. This will require you to file taxes for yourself when tax season comes around.

Finding traditional employment around a busy schedule can be difficult. The gig economy has opened up hundreds of opportunities for temporary jobs. Adulting is hard. Making money around your summer break schedule doesn’t have to be.

 

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