The nature of work as we know it has changed. It’s hard to say how many people are currently in some form of non-traditional, freelance, or gig work. Experts say the rate is around 30%, and more than 10% of people gig as a primary source of income.
Part of the change is a generational divide. In 2019, 53% of Generation Z participated in some form of gig work. This is not to mention other sharing services like AirBnB. I have not done gig work myself, but I have many friends that have or currently do.
There are some definite benefits to the model, such as setting your own hours and flexibility, but there is also a lot of uncertainty. Task-based work means all your time is spent on the clock working with no down time. Contract workers have few to no benefits or protections beyond the bare minimum provided by the law, which is struggling to provide some form of regulation to the practice.
What’s certain is that this style of work will only become more prevalent in the future. Below are a few titles that will give you a leg up on the competition, and for more information on gig work and the economics surrounding it, check out the Gig Economy Data Hub and these resources from UpWork.
The Gig is Up by Olga Mizrahi
“Freelancers need to clearly answer the question “Why choose you?” so that they stand out in the new economy. Because all workers in the gig economy need to bluntly pose this question to themselves. The Gig is Up is designed to answer this one key point head-on, giving the readers innovative tools like Unique Value Proposition to confidently step up.” (From the back cover)
The Gig is Up is a short, concise guide to making gig work work. It’s full of information covering many of the popular gig work services, how to manage your time effectively and how to not fall into many of the common traps.
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Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work by Sarah Kessler
“Kessler wades through the hype and hyperbole to tackle the big questions: What does the future of work look like? Will the millennial generation do as well as their parents? How can we all find meaningful, well-paid work?” (From the publisher)
I loved the case stories presented from the many sectors of gig works, with several interesting cases of failure and success that define the industry. My favorite part is the interview segments with Abe Husein, whose failures are all his own, but his story is used to great effect when the book covers gig worker rights.
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Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac
“Based on hundreds of interviews with current and former Uber employees, along with previously unpublished documents, Super Pumped is a page-turning story of ambition and deception, obscene wealth and bad behavior, that explores how blistering technological and financial innovation culminated in one of the most catastrophic twelve-month periods in American corporate history” (From the publisher)
An interesting expose on the inner workings and turmoil within Uber.
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Working for yourself by NOLO
“Whether you’re starting a full-scale consulting business or booking gigs on the side, Working for Yourself provides all the legal and tax information you need in one place. This eleventh edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect all the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act–changes that are largely beneficial to the self-employed” (From the publisher)
I always recommend the NOLO series because they do fantastic work on a variety of legal topics and this volume is no exception.