If you have ever sought part time-work or short-term jobs, you may have seen the term gig work and wondered, “What is a gig worker?” A gig worker is an independent contractor that completes tasks upon request with no expectation for additional work unless a continuous contract is completed. These workers get paid by each employer for the completed job only. This enables them to go to the next employer and work without any previous obligation.
Many independent contractors are in a field where the work is so plentiful that it is not necessary to have one job that you an obligated to do daily, but the work is sporadic for a specific company, but plentiful if you work doing the same type of tasks for multiple companies. That is what a true gig worker does, the same tasks for many similar employers in the same industry.
Examples of gig workers are freelance patternmakers, actors, singers, comedians, musicians, IT workers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, truck drivers, nurses, and many other licensed or long-employed professionals. Even some firefighters do contract work, especially during wildfire season. That gives the adventurous person some dangerous gig work if that’s what they’re seeking.
Gig work can be quite profitable if you are in the right area at the right time. Your area of the country may or may not be experiencing a surge in employment with a good economy. In such circumstances, many industries prosper and there is plenty of work for everybody.
There are some areas that are in an economic downturn and in such situations, there are only a few industries that continue to surge despite a lagging economy. Those industries include the medical field and the food industry. If you have a position as an independent sales agent for several food producers, you may still have plenty of work. This would also apply if you were an anesthetist or nurse in the medical field.
When the economy is good, everyone is thriving in their professions. Gig workers usually do even better because they can choose who they’ll work for, and employers will pay the going rate for these professionals. Therefore, the gig worker will select the highest paying employers to work with and consequently make a particularly good income.
The same full-time job will not pay as handsomely for the same work as a gig worker can and often does demand and receive. The main difference is that the full-time employee may also get benefits and continued employment. He may also sign an employment contract while the gig worker’s employer is under no obligation to his employee beyond the payment due for the completed gig. The gig worker has no job security, while the full-time employee has limited security.
Which is the better type of work? It depends on the person. If you have a growing family, you may prefer the security of a full-time job. A single person may like the freedom that comes with not being obligated to go to the same place every day for months or years. They may enjoy meeting and working with new people frequently. The variety may excite and invigorate them. If they are financially able, it may be a preferential state to always be seeking something new to do.
Gig workers often refer to themselves as contract workers or contractors, freelance workers, or independent contractors/workers, or self-employed people. No matter what they call themselves, they will have a big challenge if they need to take time off from work. Remember, they are not employed by a company, so there is no vacation time or family leave time accruing on the books.
Any time they need to take from work will be time for which they will not be compensated. A pregnant gig worker, will not get family medical leave or pregnancy disability from their jobs. They effectively, do not have a job, so all they have are their partner’s income or their savings to get them through the time off from work.
Some people swear by the benefits they get from not having any obligation to a full-time position. Their gig work is sufficient to supply for their financial needs and they prefer the free time they can get at the drop of a hat with ease without having to ask permission from an employer.