The gig economy is big and growing. It’s projected to have double digit growth over the next five years. And we’re not talking small numbers. The customer revenue generated through this sourcing channel is anticipated to expand from $204B in 2018 to $455B by 2023. That’s no tiny growth curve.

What is interesting is that these type of hiring practices really aren’t that new. There have always been flexible workers through the use of part time work or contractors. However one of the reasons this type of employment is advancing so quickly is due to technology advances.

Uber and Lyft are good examples of this. If you have a valid driver’s licence, car and smartphone, you could enroll with the company and accept work through their online platforms based on your availability.

But these gig type options are not just limited to one to one connections with an employer. There are now other online platforms that connect people offering many different services directly to people who may be interested in hiring them.

TaskRabbit is a good example of this. This online platform connects available people to those that want to hire them. If you are over 21, have a chequing account and credit card, can pass a background check and pay their registration fee, you can then register on their website to offer your services.

Everything from helping around someone’s home, building someone’s boxed furniture to even standing in line to wait for tickets could be part of the services offered. The “tasker”, sets their own fees and schedule. TaskRabbit arranges the introduction and should you be hired, then takes a percentage of the amount paid. In some ways it’s similar to online dating but for work. They are helping people find a match for their hiring needs.

So, why is this type of gig work good for baby boomers?

As I shared in a previous post, the gaps of available job opportunities for baby boomers are quite large. Some research discovered that 8 in 10 workers believe they will work for pay in retirement. However, out of these possible 8 workers that want to work for pay in retirement, only 3 actually do.

Some additional research also found that of the people they surveyed after retirement, “…almost 60% of the people surveyed would return to work if the job offered a flexible schedule.

Now there are some downsides too in this type of work. There usually are no benefits, limited job security and worker rights and you are responsible for paying your own employment taxes.

But if these are not concerns for you, this working option may make sense. Gig employment could offer flexible, paid work options aligned to someone’s skills and interests.

An informative video from Marketwatch highlights how the gig economy is and will continue to engage with baby boomers.

Here are a few highlights from this video:

  • Currently, employers are using alternative workforces to close their skill gaps. 67% of organizations can’t find qualified candidates
  • The millennials are not the only ones engaged in this type of work arrangement. 35% of full time alternative work arrangements are currently being filled by baby boomers
  • There is an expected 75% increase in workers 65 years and older to be in the workforce by 2050
  • Rather than alternative work arrangements being a temporary solution, it’s now being viewed as a more strategic resourcing approach by organizations

So, if you are looking for a flexible working arrangement, the gig economy may be a good match for you.

About the author: Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore’s philosophy of making sure every day matters.

Note: This article originally appeared at Booming Encore and is republished with permission of the author.


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