Gig Economy Jobs Can Mean Serious Holiday Cash

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Posted By Donna Fuscaldo on December 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm
Gig Economy Jobs Can Mean Serious Holiday Cash

With just a short time before Christmas, seasonal jobs at retailers may not be an option anymore for earning holiday cash. But thanks to the gig economy there are lots of non-traditional ways consumers can earn extra money.

One of the cornerstones of the gig economy is matching unused resources with unmet needs, and that’s heightened now as time-strapped consumers try to get everything done and are willing to spend holiday cash to do it. “The gig economy is definitely opening up other side jobs for the holiday season,” says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs. “Whether its nonprofit fundraising for end-of-year fund drives or pet sitting and walking or helping with the holiday rush in customer service and tech support, there are a lot more options out there.”

FlexJobs pointed to a recent survey that found the number of people in the U.S. who hold multiple jobs recently reached 7.8 million, up from the same time period last year.  Reynolds says gig economy workers can typically earn $10 to $15 an hour but as high as $30 an hour for more professional-level jobs.

Holiday cash choices abound with the gig economy

When it comes to using the gig economy to raise extra cash, the choices are plentiful but some of these services are going to be in more demand this time of year. Take gig economy company Roadie as one example. It was founded on the premise that somebody is always driving somewhere and why not use the excess capacity in those vehicles to transport hard-to-deliver items.

Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie says around the holidays 91 percent of all travel is via car with the average holiday road tripper lodging 275 miles. “Roadie gives people the opportunity to earn extra cash on trips they’re already taking anyway — and maybe even let that holiday road trip pay for itself,” Gorlin says, noting drivers for Roadie can earn anywhere from $8 to $50 on local gigs and as much as $650 on long distance gigs.

He points out the possibilities are numerous. “The Internet and smartphones make it so easy to get started in the gig economy.  What do you have to offer? Driving a car, renting space, organizational skills? Once you decide what you want to do, companies like Roadie, Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit are very good at walking you through the steps to get started,” he says.

Time-strapped consumers need help

A byproduct of the holiday rush is tons of people don’t have time to get all their errands, shopping and holiday check lists done. That rush is perfectly suited for gig economy companies such as Instacart and TaskRabbit. Instacart employs people to do grocery shopping for others, while TaskRabbit has a team of gig economy workers who will do everything from clean your house to make furniture for you. Both rely on a mobile app to connect those with a need with those who can meet it.

Bottom line, Gorlin says, “We see the holiday season as a time of tremendous opportunity.  The holidays are a time of more: more parties and events to attend, more gifts to send, more trips to take. People need more help.  It’s the perfect opportunity to earn money in the gig economy.”

For serial gig economy worker Jonathan Barrett, an 18 year-old full-time student at Arizona State University, picking up side jobs to earn holiday cash is a no brainer. “I can make good money in a short amount of time and be able to spend time with family more often,” says Barrett, who has been doing gig economy jobs since he was 15.

His resume includes everything from moving to roofing, and he currently works for DoorDash a food delivery company.  Barrett finds his work on Craigslist under the “gigs” section of the website. “People who are interested in doing Craigslist gigs need to know that you have to pick what you’re good at and have experience with; otherwise, you won’t be chosen for the gig you want. Otherwise, find an on-demand service like DoorDash and be able to work on your own schedule,” he says.

Because gig economy jobs enable you to earn extra cash and offer a flexible job schedule, there is a lot of demand, particularly around the holidays. Because of that, experts and gig economy workers say it’s imperative that you only go after gigs you know you can do and make sure you don’t end up in a situation where all your free time is taken up.

“One of the biggest benefits of joining the gig economy is also one of the biggest challenges – managing your own time entirely,” says Greg Waldorf, chief executive of Invoice2go. “The holiday season is already busy enough; you need to be very disciplined in order to dedicate enough time to taking on gigs or on-demand jobs.”

Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo is a freelance journalist hailing out of Long Island, New York. She has also written for Bankrate.com, Glassdoor.com, SigFig.com, FoxBusiness.com, Business Insider, Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal.

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