16 Best Gig Economy Jobs

gig economy wooden blocks Shutterstock

Have you ever dreamt of being your own boss? What about having a flexible work schedule? Having a full-time job and being based in an office position from 9 to 5 is becoming less common. A recent survey by Global Leadership Summit in London found that more than 50 percent of their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020. According to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), there are already 5 million people currently working in the gig economy in the UK.

This approach has been welcomed by millennials who prefer to take on part-time job opportunities, side projects or hustles that are known as ‘gigs’, hence the term ‘gig economy’. As a gig economy worker, you can maintain multiple sources of income, a more flexible work schedule and control of your professional life.

Sounds good? If you want to know more about this new way of freelancing, we have a few examples you might be interested in…

1. Ridesharing

Ridesharing which refers to the taxi-like services that connect passengers to drivers through a smartphone app has become very popular. Lyft and Uber, the two companies which are considered to be the industry leaders, pay up to $377 and $364 per month respectively. If you want to use your own car to pick passengers and drive them to their preferred location, you can learn more about it or search for other ride-sharing apps such as Getaround, Curb and Juno.

2. Delivery driving

Companies like Postmates – general delivery service and Deliveroo food delivery services, provide work to people who are willing to deliver various things like meals to people. Each worker is paid by the number of deliveries he makes, and according to Chron as a pizza delivery driver you can earn up to $6 per hour, plus delivery and tips. Not bad, right?

3. Selling crafts

Etsy is probably the biggest e-commerce site for arts and crafts. The popular marketplace has managed to attract many creative people who want to make money by selling their passion projects. Whether it’s jewellery, clothing, personalised gifts, or anything else you can think of, you can bet someone wants to buy it. Etsy along with many other similar ones like Fancy or Zazzle has allowed people to promote, market and sell their products online.

4. Consulting

An excellent way of working more flexibly in the gig economy is to become a consultant. As a freelance consultant you can work with a range of organisations remotely. Alternatively, you can have your own workplace and website, offering your services to individuals for a fee. Some careers that are suitable for consulting are computer and information systems, human resources, management, sales, marketing and PR, accounting or environment conservation.

5. Freelance writing

Writing is probably the most famous gig and this explains why there is a lot of competition. Since there is always going to be someone who is more experienced than you, it’s important to keep yourself up-to-date and continually challenge yourself with new projects. If you want to become a freelance writer, you ought to start with sites like Problogger, MediaBistro and JournalismJobs amongst others.

6. Coding and programming

If you are into coding and programming, you can apply on Toptal as a freelance web developer and work with top tech companies or startups. As a developer, you have a more privileged position because the demand in this field is huge. Another good website that is worth checking is Smashing Jobs where you can find or get found for lots of job opportunities.

7. Graphic design

Graphic design is another job that you can do as a side gig. Since everything can be done online, sites such as 99designs, Dribbble, Coroloft, or Behance can provide you with the best databases for work. You can search for a design ‘gig,’ or share and promote your creations.

8. Handyman

It might not sound too glamorous but working as a handyman is quite popular these days. Handy man services like TaskRabbit or cleaning services like Handy introduces you to a pool of job opportunities within your local area. If you have the kind of knowledge – or physical strength - to help around the house, clean, carry out maintenance, assemble furniture, paint or lift and move heavy items, it’s worth checking out. Although these are described as ‘tasks’, you can make good money once you build a reputation online.

9. Photographer

If you like taking photographs and own a high-quality camera, you can take and sell your photos on sites such as Shutterstock, iStock or Bigstock. Start by showcasing your work, hold an exhibition to get known to people, build your network, go to social events like weddings, and offer to record a video/photo documentary for the event(s). If your photos are good enough, you can set your own prices.

10. Tutoring

Online learning allows teachers, tutors, and students to connect for mutual benefit. Education marketplaces like TakeLessons, Wyzant, PopExpert and CoachUp are some of the most popular ones, give you the opportunity to share your knowledge and get paid for it. Joining is a simple process. All you have to do is choose your working platform, build your profile and offer one-to-one or group sessions to the students who are interested in your subject.

11. Babysitting

What’s better than playing with colouring books, Legos, board games, puzzles and card games and getting paid for it? Being a babysitter definitely has its perks, provided that you like spending time with children. If anything else, the hours are flexible, it’s practice for when you have your own kids, and if you are good you will never run out of work. You can look for babysitting jobs on Care.com.

12. Dog walking

If you have some spare time on your hands, you can take dogs for a walk. This is a great opportunity for you to exercise, make some new friends, enjoy yourself and earn some money. The time is flexible, and the task is easy. Need you ask anymore?

13. Virtual assistance

Becoming a virtual assistant is a great choice if you are hoping to work from home or abroad. You can look for jobs on Upwork or Freelancer and start building a portfolio of high-paying virtual assistant jobs. Getting positive reviews is essential because this will make you a preferred choice for employers who want to hire someone with experience in the field.  

14. Renting

Another excellent way to gain money is through renting your free space or things you don’t need. So let’s say, you are living in a house of three-bedrooms and you have two that are unoccupied, you can rent your extra space with Airbnb. Alternatively, you can join Turo, and rent your car to people who want to go on an adventure, but don’t have a car.

15. Tourist guide

This could be a great summer job. If you think you know a specific area really well, you can share your knowledge and experience with travellers from all over the world. It allows you to earn money doing something you enjoy e.g. going on tours and designing walks and hikes.

16. Chef

If you have trained as a chef, and looking for part-time opportunities to cook for others, you can tout your services and get found by people who need someone to prepare a meal for them either for a special occasion or on a more regular basis.

As you can see the ‘gig’ economy offers immense possibilities. Who knows you might find an easy and high paying job that is also your passion.

Have you ever been a freelancer or worked side gigs? Let us know in the comments section below…