What is a gig job

Gig working: exploitation or alternative?

The labor market has changed a lot over the past few decades. Technical and digital developments, but also a job market shaken by the global economic crisis, has forms of work like that Gig working spawned. This is a temporary activity that can be carried out alongside or instead of the full-time job. The possible uses are very diverse and depend on your personal level of knowledge and education. What opportunities and risks gig working offers ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Gig-Work Definition: From one job to the next

Three terms keep cropping up in connection with gig working: gig work, gig economy and gig jobs.

They are all related to one another. While gig work and gig jobs refer to tasks, gig economy refers to the labor market that offers employees a temporary job. Gig working is when you make a living deny with such activities.

The term gig is known from the music industry. One speaks of a gig when bands make one paid appearance to have. Just as a music gig is short-lived, gig jobs are only temporary. Gig working is not limited to any industry.

Classic examples in this country are bicycle couriers for food deliveries such as from Deliveroo or Foodora. At the same time, there are hardly any areas in which gig working would not be possible. The basic requirements are mostly own work materials and internet access.

That is necessary for the employee to find the job. Gig working often works over corresponding platformswho see themselves as intermediaries between the client and gig worker. Bicycle couriers bring in their own bike for the job.

For gig working with the American passenger transport service Over the drivers need one own car. Gig working can be done just as well as home work from your own laptop.

Typical activities are then jobs as Designers, editors or copywriters. Freelancers do gig working. So it is about freelance work, as it is also known for promotion jobs.

At the same time it must be noted that it no fixed definition of the gig worker. Keynote speakers, speakers, consultants, contractors and entrepreneurs share many characteristics, just like the interim manager, for example.

They all do gig working, but still have the latter little mean with bike couriers or Uber drivers.

Indicators of short-term jobs

Payment can be made on an hourly basis or a flat rate is agreed upon completion of a project. Long-term jobs are also Salaries possible, for example with those who lead to full-time work, although this is atypical.

What does this mean for the employee? Gig working is in contrast to the traditional employment relationship, which is often characterized by permanent employment. There, job changes are much less common and when they are, they are often planned as a conscious career move.

Gig workers, on the other hand, are much more flexible and free in their decisionswhich job they accept, for which client they want to work. This enables, for example, greater variety with several simultaneous jobs.

And if a job turns out to be not very challenging, then the boredom is usually short-lived, like the job as a whole. This generally enables quick action if a new opportunity opens. The majority of typical gig jobs are part-time. This makes it easy to put it around your own appointments.

But of course the whole thing also has a downside. After all, social benefits such as health insurance usually remain with the employee. And since the entire employment relationship is designed for the short term, the job is not particularly secure, and the employee is interchangeable.

Those who make a living doing such jobs do not simply have the choice of being able to choose their clients themselves. Much more he must have multiple clients find, if only for financial reasons, since a single gig is hardly enough - easily recognizable by the example of a courier driver or text writer.

At the same time it must Tax office opposite it must be plausibly demonstrated that there are several clients in order to avoid the accusation of pseudo self-employment.

Exploitation or Opportunity?

In view of the differences already mentioned above, it must be said clearly: Who does not provide any services from the technological area as offered by the Internet (for example software developers) or who have already made a name for themselves as qualified specialists (consultants) or managers (interim managers), will generally benefit less from the advantages of the gig economy.

Gig-Working started around 2008 in the wake of the global economic crisis, which was particularly severe in the USA. In order to get a job at all, you have to go straight older job seekers got involved in gig working and in some cases never got out of this form of employment.

Because it is practical for employers: Some have a temporary need for additional, freelance employees and can thus avoid costs that would arise for them through a normal employment relationship. Of course they will Products are also cheaper as a result.

A ride with Uber is cheaper than a regular taxi, and overnight stays via Airbnb are cheaper than in hotels. In America that has to be one Increase in gig working which no longer only affects classic professions such as actors, musicians, employees from film production or seasonal workers.

Digitization and the associated loss of jobs have made a decisive contribution to this. In some cases software replaces the workplace, in others significantly less time is required.

Gig working typical of milennials

Gig working is often associated with milennials entering professional life. And it seems to fit their lifestyle because they change jobs more often. This generation is generally said to have one greater value Make sure that leisure and private life can be easily reconciled with the job. Gig working gives them much more leeway than most traditional jobs.

For Larry Alton, the situation of the milennials is a bit more differentiated. In Forbes magazine, he describes how some were still in training at the time of the global economic crisis, while others were just starting their careers.

Whoever succeeded in doing this was fine. For those who had to find a job during the crisis, it was much more difficult. Hiring freezes and lower salaries were the order of the day. For these, gig working could at least be the short-term solution.

But as generally open and connected to the Internet as milennials are, the majority (91 percent) prefer them Comforts of a secure full-time job.

Especially since gig working costs up to $ 40,000 high student debt can only be broken down badly.

Situation in this country

American conditions cannot simply be transferred to Germany. The numbers on how gig working will develop in the future fluctuate. Some studies suggest that by 2020 up to 40 percent of all workers in America will be in some form of self-employment.

The McKinsey Global Institute also assumes 20 to 30 percent in Europe and the USA who are currently already in gig working. These numbers sound high, but arise from the fact that freelancers with a permanent customer base are counted as well as classic gig jobs that mediated via platforms become.

The main problem is that there are few reliable figures on the platform economy and thus on gig working. This is also criticized by Holger Bonin, professor of economics at the University of Kassel and chief coordinator for labor market policy research at the private research institute on the future of work.

He estimates the share of jobs in the gig economy in the USA at just 0.5 percent, and in Germany it would be even lower. The likelihood that conditions in Germany will develop as in the USA cannot be foreseen in this area.

On the one hand, this is related to the higher level of education in this country. Courier services, for example, tend to be carried out by the less qualified. On the other hand, efforts can already be observed in some European countries to transfer the safeguards from normal employment relationships to gig working.

Tips for those interested

If you are interested in gig working, you should think about your future life and career in advance. Those who want to afford certain things and / or start a family depend on financial security.

In addition, job hopping is not particularly popular on the résumé. It can be used as a Impermanence and aversion to conflict be interpreted.

On the other hand, gig working typically suits a certain age. Young workers in particular want to try out more'Gig working gives them the opportunity to do so. Above all, this is an advantage for all those who do not yet know exactly where they want to go on business.

Because with gig working you do not take any special risks, nor do you have to make great sacrifices. This economy is based on part time jobs and short term employment, so turnover is there completely normal. This makes it easier for graduates to gain experience and to form larger networks more quickly.

However, you should keep in mind that ...

  • You have enough customers or clients,
  • Pay your customers on time and in full,
  • You are covered in the event that you are absent due to illness or an occupational accident,
  • You also have reserves if you want to go on vacation or training.

Ultimately, it's about all the social benefits that a normal employer pays for you, that is Unemployment and pension insurance Likewise. Gig working may temporarily be a great opportunity to get a taste of different activities and gain experience.

In the long term, the income should be high enough that you can effortlessly take care of yourself and still be able to make a living now.

What other readers have read

[Photo credit: Branislav Nenin by Shutterstock.com]