Ryan Heenan works whenever, wherever. He’s a songwriter who sells customized jingles and videos online to clients worldwide. “It’s really a dream come true,” says Heenan. “It gives me the freedom to set my own hours. And I can do what I do anywhere there’s an Internet connection.”
Heenan is one of many people in the so-called gig economy. But there is no official definition of the “gig economy”—or, for that matter, a gig. For purposes of this article, a gig describes a single project or task for which a worker is hired, often through a digital marketplace, to work on demand.
Some gigs are a type of short-term job, and some workers pursue gigs as a self-employment option; those concepts aren’t new. However, companies connecting workers with these jobs through websites or mobile applications (more commonly known as apps) is a more recent development.
Keep reading to learn what gigs are all about and how some workers are taking a gig approach to earning money. You’ll gain insight into the pros and cons of gig work, along with suggestions for getting started.