Will you be joining the gig economy?

There’s been a lot of talk over the ‘gig economy’ over the last 12 months, with some people hailing it as a genius way to make some extra cash alongside your studies / day job and others claiming companies are exploiting it to avoid costs associated with a full-time employee.

If you don’t already know, the gig economy refers to ‘a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs’, such as an Uber taxi driver or a Deliveroo bike deliverer.

As a student it can be difficult to fit a job around your studies (and social life), but with rising tuition fees and a student loan that is so tempting to spend, students are often crying out for a way to make some extra cash! Peopleperhour.com, a site that helps companies match jobs with freelance workers notes that 10% of their 150,000 users are students, suggesting the gig economy is becoming a popular avenue for the student work-force.

The main pros gig economy workers cite for their choice of employment are the ability to “be your own boss” as well as the option for flexible working – which is a must for students who want to fit their job around their lectures! So you choose when you work, and who you work for, and earn money whilst getting your degree… BUT as many people claim it’s not always an attractive option for everyone.

Being a ‘gig worker’ or an independent contractor may give you access to more freedom, but it can also cut out a lot of perks (and employee rights) such as sickness and holiday pay as well as paying national insurance so it is important to weigh up your options before deciding on a part-time job alongside your studies and a ‘gig’ role.

Have you had experience working in the ‘gig economy’? Let us know your experience at [email protected] or tweet us at @Gradability!

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