Contents:

5 min read

    5 min read

    We’re ten years into the “gig economy”, which was initially conceived of as a way to help workers be their own bosses, work on their own schedules, and still bring in a comfortable wage. 10 years in, we can now take a good look about the benefits and downsides of the gig economy. In this episode, I speak with reporter and author Sarah Kessler about the gig economy and her new book, Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work.

    Get your first audiobook FREE when you sign up with a 30 day trial of Audible! Sign up with Audible using our link to receive your first audiobook free here.

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    We're ten years into the "gig economy", which was initially conceived of as a way to help workers be their own bosses, work on their own schedules, and still bring in a comfortable wage. 10 years in, we can now take a good look about the benefits and downsides of the gig economy. In this episode, I speak with reporter and author Sarah Kessler about the gig economy and her new book, Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work.

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    Intro

    • When the gig economy was first pitched, there was a lot of talk about “being your own boss”, but now that the industry has matured, we’re seeing the gig economy is not all it’s hyped up to be
    • In this episode, I’m speaking with Sarah Kessler, a report from Quartz, about her new book Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work
    • Have you heard of Bird yet? Bird is a new electric scooter service operating all over the US. You can learn more about it here!
    • Becoming a Charger is easy to do – simply sign up with my link and learn more about being a Charger with my free guide
    • Already a Charger? Then join my free Facebook group for Chargers!

    Interview with Sarah Kessler

    • Sarah is an editor with Quartz at Work, where she works with other writers, and she recently wrote a book about the gig economy called Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work
    • Gigged is about this promise that Silicon Valley made when they started pitching these apps they called the gig economy
    • At the time, these apps and jobs were pitched as solving the problems of the economy and unemployment
    • In Gigged, Sarah follows the outcome of that promise and how it worked for 5 people she followed who were in different situations working in the gig economy
    • Get your first audiobook FREE when you sign up with a 30 day trial of Audible! Sign up with Audible using our link to receive your first audiobook free here.

    Beginning & Allure of the Gig Economy

    • The gig economy isn’t a new trend, it’s just a new name. Began in the 1970s with companies outsourcing work (temp hires, contractors, etc.)
    • Sarah noticed the gig economy trend while she was a tech reporter
    • Apps were framed as “the future of work” or ways to solve an unemployment crisis
    • The allure was not having to work a 9-to-5, not have a boss, work your own schedule
    • But the reality seems to be none of that: it’s not quite as flexible, it’s more difficult to earn enough money, etc.

    Will the Gig Economy Keep Growing?

    • The percentage of people actually working in the gig economy is very small – 1 out of 3 people have tried freelance work, but less than 1% are actually making the gig economy their full time job
    • However, the gig economy keeps growing and companies are beginning to see they can save money by outsourcing, turning to freelancers, etc.
    • Overall, Gigged looks at out technology is facilitating outsourcing and what it means for the workers who take on these outsourced or new gigs

    Varying Impacts of the Gig Economy

    • In Gigged, Sarah profiles a variety of people in the gig economy
    • One story she profiled was a non-profit in rural Arkansas that tested the hypothesis of the gig economy providing employment, particularly for people who live in poverty. Could the gig economy bring opportunity to a rural community?
    • Overall, the gig economy doesn’t work that simply. It’s one facet of reducing poverty but it’s not a one-size fits all solution

    Improving the Gig Economy

    • One benefit to the gig economy has been a discussion around portable benefits – health insurance and other benefits shouldn’t necessarily be tied to a company you work for
    • At the same time, how can companies make jobs better for their employees? Why do people see the gig economy as a solution or a “side job” – what is it about their jobs that don’t pay enough or offer the right compensation?
    • The gig economy has been a big improvement for some, particularly high skilled workers or workers who would otherwise be homebound, but who now can work from home and earn money

    Outro

    • Thank you to Sarah for coming on and talking with us about the gig economy
    • Overall, there are definitely pros and cons to the gig economy, and like Sarah said, it is not going away
    • Companies want both sides: reduced payroll costs by using independent contractors but also “employees” they can control – to a degree. It’s interesting to see how this will continue to develop
    • Have you heard of Bird yet? Bird is a new electric scooter service operating all over the US. You can learn more about it here!
    • Becoming a Charger is easy to do – simply sign up with my link and learn more about being a Charger with my free guide
    • Already a Charger? Then join my free Facebook group for Chargers!

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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