How the Gig Economy Supports New Workers (& Americans Starting Over)

BY Jesi Bolandrina
optimistic young worker

24 Sep, 2020

How the Gig Economy Supports New Workers (& Americans Starting Over)

BY Jesi Bolandrina

Whether you entered the workforce shortly before the COVID pandemic or are looking to re-enter as a result of the disruption, one thing is certain: the gig economy can be a viable short or long term option for you to flex as needed. To help you understand how the gig economy supports new workers, we’ve outlined the opportunities it presents for both young professionals and workers re-entering the workforce.

Anyone Can Find Success Outside of Traditional Work

“There is a lot of data showing that most independent contractors embrace their status. Today, around 41 million independent workers generate around $1.3 trillion in economic activity in the U.S. economy,” David Meltzer wrote for the San Antonio Express. “About 85 percent of that is generated by a core of 12 million full-time independent workers…Over 80 percent of these workers reported being full time by choice and profess to have no desire to return to a traditional job.”

The gig economy isn’t a small group of people. It includes freelancers, temporary workers and part-time workers. All of these workers are united in the way they seek and complete jobs outside of a typical employer/employee relationship. The gig economy encompasses work nationwide across numerous fields and industries. This ensures that there is something for everyone of any skill set, age or level of experience.

What does this mean for new workers?

College students and recent graduates may be facing the loss of on-campus jobs, internships or post-graduate work. Delays and cancellations can make it difficult to make a decision on how to move forward. The gig economy benefits workers who are still building their experiences and resumes. It helps them find work (and pay) on a short or long term basis.

Previous generations were more likely to find and stay in a single career path throughout their working years. Now, however, accumulating experience across a variety of jobs and industries is more of the norm. New workers can develop new skills or strengthen their exposure to new by working several jobs with different companies. Freedom to learn and flexibility in selecting opportunities can help you further your own personal or career goals.

The gig economy has a place for you if you’re looking to strengthen your resume with new experiences, find enjoyable ways to pay your bills and feel comfortable picking up work as you need it.

What does this mean for Americans re-entering the workforce?

After the “eruption of the coronavirus,” the Associated Press reports that the economy is still struggling to recover. Americans applying for unemployment wonder what job they can find next and how long it could take to secure it. While there are state and federal programs focused on adding jobs back to the market, the Associated Press found, “that would still leave the economy about 11 million jobs short of the number it’s lost to the pandemic.”

All of these workers need to pivot and adjust while potentially facing the threat of an employment gap. For workers near retirement age, gig work can help them feel relatively comfortable stepping away from full-time work. Many, however, will need to find solutions for their work and family responsibilities. The gig economy supports new workers like these by giving them options to choose from.

One of the most empowering parts of the gig economy is being able to plan work around your own schedule. A gig worker can download an app, fill out applications today and start work as soon as tomorrow. Most gigs are upfront about the pay you can expect. This helps you plan how much or how often you need to work to live comfortably.

There are also companies that advocate for their workers, beyond the job. The Jobbler Marketplace is the go-to resource for independent workers to find discounts and resources catered to the workforce’s needs. Common criticisms of temporary work cite difficulty to benefits as a deterrent, however Jobble’s workers have access to exclusive perks: from education to childcare to insurance and dental plans. You can still find comparable benefits while enjoying the freedom of flexible work.

Where does this leave us?

As the country readjusts, freelancers and temporary workers will experience a transformation in their work is viewed. The gig economy supports new workers in several ways. It’s even easier now to make the most of everything companies have to offer.

You can join the millions of gig workers across the country and find your own success. Showcase your skills, take advantage of new opportunities and strengthen the relationships you value. As you do this, you will continue to cultivate and nurture your own reputation which can lead to continuing success. The flexibility the gig economy provides means you could grow in a variety of industries or roles, without having to put all of your eggs in one basket!

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