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Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by Daniella
We are living in the era of the gig job.
A gig job is considered a short-term or independent contractor job for one or more employers. These jobs have been sprouting up in increasing supply over the last decade and especially since 2020 as people became overly dependent on some areas of the gig economy due to the pandemic.
Some of these jobs are perfect for closing the gap in your income but then, there are also gig economy jobs that may not be as worth it as you think
In this article, I’m going to share 3 gig economy jobs that aren’t quite worth it. This should be super helpful to you if you’re considering working in the gig economy and want to weed out gems from everything else. You’ll be clued into jobs that just aren’t worth it, in our opinion.
Note: MLMs (multi level marketing schemes) are never worth it so even though they aren’t listed here, we still recommend you stay away from MLMs.
Let’s get started.
What is a Gig Economy Job
As mentioned above, it’s a short-term, part-time job where you work as an independent contractor. It also allows for you to work multiple jobs at once usually, like working your full time job and working a gig job in the evenings, or working multiple part-time gig jobs.
People have embraced the gig economy because it closes the wage gap.
You can easily make a few hundred or a few thousand dollars extra every month by just working a gig job. Some pay up to $25 per hour or more, which sounds great, but if you consider you’re only able to snag around 5 to 10 hours per week in available work, it doesn’t quite add up to the extra $2,000+ per month you were thinking.
But, sometimes it does!
In fact, this guy did a case study where he drove for UberEATS for 30 days and made over $8,000!
And when gigs are in high demand, like the grocery delivery spike in early 2020, gig workers can make up to thousands per week.
There are a ton of variables involved but it can happen, it’s not impossible.
Other perks of gig work include:
- Flexible schedule (work when you want)
- Work from home (or work from your car or phone)
- Casual dress (or where what you want)
- Weekly or on-demand pay
Imagine a job where you work when you want and get paid when you want.
A lot of gig jobs are just that and people love it. There are pros and cons to working in the gig economy.
Before you dive into the gig world, we want you to pick the right job to pursue, worth your time and well-paying.
Now let’s dive into the list of gig jobs we think you should skip.
3 Gig Jobs to Avoid at All Costs
1. Uber driver
An Uber (or Lyft) driver is paid to taxi people around town. You’re a taxi driver but you’ll be using your own car. Sure you get to pick your own hours, get on-demand and weekly pay and other benefits, but is it worth it?
The wear and tear on your car can drive your vehicle value down. You’re exposed to a ton of people which means you can have literally hundreds of strangers ride in your car. The thought of that alone just grosses me out.
Then, there’s getting lost, peak traffic times, those times you’re picking up rude or belligerent passengers, interior “accidents” in your backseat like spills, cigarette burns, vomiting, etc.
And then worse of all, your whole livelihood with this job is based on your rating.
You get a rating from passengers on their experience with you as their driver. Uber’s standards are super high and if you drop at or below a 4.6 out of 5, you can be kicked out of the program.
Your goal, of course, is to be a 5 star driver. What determines that is:
- Short wait times for passengers
So, for these reasons..
- The wear and tear of your vehicle
- The stress and anxiety of driving during unfavorable driving times, and
- Stress of potentially losing your job after just one passenger rating
We determine that Uber or Lyft driving as an economy job is just not worth it.
It can work for many people, it’s a great way to pass the time quickly and get you out of the house while paying for your time and it’s a side hustle that can fuel your passions like traveling on a trip, etc.
But, I just think there are better side hustles out there. Keep reading.
Related: How The Gig Economy Hurts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
2. Thumbtack Worker
Thumbtack is a marketplace for service professionals. As a service worker, you can sign up to the website and pay to have leads delivered to you.
There are a ton of jobs in industries like:
- Graphic design
- Home improvement
It’s a great place for consumers who need some work done, like picture hanging, lawn mowing, help with a resume for job seekers, etc.
For contractors, not so much.
How it Works?
You sign up as a pro. Then, you build your profile, which includes selecting the services you have skills for. You set your travel preferences, like if you work remotely only or you’re willing to travel short or long distances to customers. And lastly, you set your budget.
Your budget controls how many leads you get from Thumbtack.
You would set a budget of $70/week for example, and that would pour in around 14 to 23 leads weekly to you.
With those leads, you can convert them to customers hopefully and one paying customer can pay for your week’s worth of leads.
Then, rinse and repeat.
Why Thumbtack Isn’t Worth It?
First, you have to pay for leads. These leads are not guaranteed and the quality of the leads is questionable.
If you head to the Thumbtack Facebook group, you will hear tons of horror stories from pros on the site and what they have experienced.
So, I don’t like that work is not guaranteed.
You have to be a good salesperson in order to close sales on a regular basis and doing that takes away from the work you are doing as a skilled pro. Sales is almost more important than the actual service work you’re doing because if you aren’t able to close the sale, you don’t get any work and you don’t get paid.
I prefer a setup where unlimited leads are available to professionals and they pay after the sale is closed.
This is how Upwork is set up.
You can join Upwork for free as a freelancer, gain access to the thousands of jobs available on the site and when you book a gig, Upwork’s 20% fee is taken out of your earnings.
If you work in the service field, skip this site, Thumbtack and others like it.
Bellhop lets you become a mover, making up to $21 per hour in the process. If heavy lifting doesn’t bother you, this might sound like the kind of job right up your alley, if it wasn’t for the inconsistency.
The way Bellhop works is, once you’re signed up and ready to take moving jobs, they will match you with jobs based on the schedule you select. The company assigns you work instead of you being able to self-assign jobs.
Then, with the type of work you’re doing, moving, it’s difficult to gauge how much time will actually be required.
I’ve moved several times in my life and it hardly goes according to plan. This directly impacts your hourly rate and the move could spill into the time dedicated to other parts of your busy life.
For example, if you’re scheduled to do a move from 9am to 11am but instead it starts an hour late at 10am and runs until 3pm, this can be a major issue if you’re unavailable after 1pm or you have to work another job at 2pm.
This is just the nature of moving but that’s another reason why we’re not a fan of Bellhop.
Then, this is a review-focused gig job, like Uber or others. Reviews can be good or bad. Here it can be used as a way to level up your rank but you’ll never know if a single bad review could mean the end of your job.
What are the other requirements?
You should be at least 18 years old, be able to lift 100lbs, have reliable transportation, a smartphone and checking account, and be able to pass a background check.
What do you think of these 3 gig economy jobs that aren’t worth it? Do you agree or disagree?
There are definitely a ton of gig economy jobs that do work. Do not let this discourage you and it’s totally fine if you disagree and think one or more of these jobs on our list is a great gig job.
If you want legit side hustle ideas with the exact resources of how to start them, grab this freebie download:
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Ways to increase your income that are actually worth your time:
- 43 Passionate Hobbies That Make Money: For Everyone
- 8 Ways to Get Paid for Your Recipes
- Get Paid to Read Books: 12 Ways to Make Money as a Bibliophile
- Redbubble Review: Make Money Online as an Artist
- How to Start a Printable Side Hustle
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3 thoughts on “3 Gig Economy Jobs That May Not Be Worth It”
Hey Katie, thanks you caught a typo 😅. They’ve actually resolved that tipping issue at the beginning of last year.
Thank you so much and you nailed it! Especially during Covid the thought of being a ride share driver sounds so scary, unsafe and unpredictable and safety is always a concern as one never knows which type of passenger will come in.
Safety can get tricky for sure!