writing about gig economy

The terms “the gig economy” and “gig employees” have come into the language of business over the past few years. Supported by apps such as Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Instacart, and many others, individuals can decide to take on certain jobs, working as many or few hours as they choose, and taking on (or not) different jobs. For many individuals and companies, this is changing the nature of work, and relations between employees, employers, and customers.

This concept is not new; in fact it is quite old. The term “free lance” has been used to describe many writers and journalists for decades, while musicians and actors have typically been paid “per performance.” Turning up “gigs” or “tricks” has been a valued source of income for many individuals, long before there were smartphones, the internet, or computers. Back when I was growing up, most every carpenter, cleaning lady, and fishing guide I knew were “independent contractors” who were paid directly by an individual who wanted a particular task competed. (Many of these transactions took place using cash, with no traceability for income tax purposes.) The overall prevalence of this type of employment, however, declined over the last half of the 1900s, as these sorts of workers increasingly started working as employees of an organized business.

There are any number of articles and online resources that provide definitions of gig work and the gig economy, and some have contradictory descriptions. I have provided a couple of articles with this post, but I encourage you to look around and find additional resources. I don’t have any preferred definition, and sorting out some of this ambiguity is an aspect of this assignment. One set of definitions, and some data, can be found at: https://www.gigeconomydata.org/

This paper should focus on the personality and personal attributes that are important for gig workers. Refer to the concepts described in the book, and identify the attributes that are particularly important in order for gig workers to be successful. Similarly, it may be appropriate to discuss the attributes that would limit the ability of someone to be a gig worker. It is important for individuals to find the type of work that best suits them and their personality. (Generally speaking, shy individuals would have difficulty as a realtor or car salesperson, and those who have little concern for time or punctuality might not be well suited to be an airline pilot.)

This paper should be around 1800-2500 words, with proper referencing of all sources used. I recommend using the APA format for the paper and references, although I am not a stickler for following every detail of the official formating guidelines. The library or the writing center can provide assistance if you have any questions. There are also a number of sources of information regarding this standard, including https://apastyle.apa.org/6th-edition-resources/basics-tutorial and http://www.csun.edu/~hbsoc126/soc4/Writing%20Sample%20and%20Refernce%20Guide%20as%201%20file.pdf. As described in some detail in the academic integrity section of the syllabus, it is very important that all sources of information used receive proper attribution in papers.

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