On Demand Economy: Gigs Over Jobs

I know this will hurt your ego but soon and very soon your job title will mean two things, “jack” and “sh!t”. Why? Hang on, we will get there. I noticed a long time ago how aligned people are to their titles. When you meet someone the first thing you do is tell them your credentials, “I’m a Supervisor”, “I am a Executive Administrative Assistant”, “I am the Chief so and so of whatchamacallit” We love our titles but a strange thing is happening right now, titles are less important, and you can blame millennials if you want to but it’s not their faults – it’s our fault.

The Demise of Titles (and Jobs)

If you are old enough to remember the dot com explosion and boom of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, you will remember that new companies popped up everywhere. And everyone was a CEO, President, Vice Present of Chief Operating Officer of some dot com business. Then it all went ka-boom and those big titled bosses were on the unemployment lines or working for then new coffee shop, Starbucks.

Then September 11th, 2001, happened and that has a huge economic impact on the world. And in a closer look it changed the way we thought about our lives, what’s important and what’s not so important. Next, the great modern-day recession happened. Our unemployment rate went through the roof. Lots of companies went out of business. The auto-industry and stock market were in the tank. The housing market collapsed. People moved back home with their parents. Retirees went back to work. And a lot of folks couldn’t deal with the economic setback and they committed suicide.

Our kids (millennials) witnessed those tragic events and they made a conscious or unconscious decision that when they grew up, they would not follow in the footsteps of the previous generations.

Business Has Changed

In 2009, as the wheels of the economy began slowly move forward, one of the biggest job market segments was the part-time or temporary job. On the surface, analysts thought that people accepted part-time jobs and temp work because there was nothing else, and while that played role in it, we quickly learned that the next generation of workers were actually less committed to the corporate cog.

Then those young folks decided to launch their own companies…aka start-ups. As the older jobs went away like dinosaurs and newer jobs in tech took ahold we realized that things like social media, tablets and smartphones were game changers in business.

Younger generations are figuring out ways to make the processes of the older generations less rigid and cumbersome, like healthcare, prescription drugs and sustainable energy.

On Demand Economy

Today’s solopreneur can work gigs and make upwards of $1,000 a week. Online platforms like NextDoor and Taskrabbit allow consumers to order any and everything from dinner, massages, lawncare and even resume services. There is over $60B dollars in the gig market and people who needs flexibility for school, leisure or just don’t want a regular job enjoy the money without the headache and stress of corporate America.  There are over 45M Americas who are part of the gig economy in some form, think AirBnb, Uber, Lyft, Nextdoor, Handy, Table & Teaspoon, Zeel, The Cut, and others. (source NBC’s Sunday Today)

Gigs vs. Jobs

Which brings us to the latest trend in the job market, gigs. Workers are opting for a gig, an easy job (part-time, seasonal, or entry level) that they can work and make cash to fund their dreams, hobbies, or minimalistic lifestyles. People are not signing up for the stress and sacrifices of corporate America as in the past. This also effects the housing market, young folks are renting and buy tiny houses – a big mortgage is not attractive to them.

Recruiting strategies have changed, ask anyone who makes hiring decisions, companies have to be more creative with their benefit packages because today’s employee wants flexibility, work-life balance and simplicity. They would rather work a gig and be their own boss versus working and building someone else’s dreams.


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