Young people are diving right into the gig economy. They’re learning to swim against the current with many interesting job options.
Where we were . . .
Back in the good old days, before the gig economy, a young person was pretty much limited when it came to job options in a static economy. They could wash dishes. Some could flip hamburgers. They might chase tennis balls at country clubs. Young people could bus tables, deliver pizza, or mow lawns and shovel snow.
Some of this work was monotonous. Some of it was back-breaking. None of it had much appeal to a young person with an active imagination and ambition. Still, it’s quite amazing how many of today’s wealthiest businesspeople began their careers pulling weeds, or getting sunburned as lifeguards.
It only goes to show that the American spirit of enterprise never sleeps. It seems that garages in America were invented not to park cars in but to start Silicon Valley legends.
How we’ve changed . . .
Today there is a new path to making money. For young and old alike. This new phenomenon is called the gig economy.
The concept is relatively simple. You work by yourself for yourself. You’re paid for piece work or at an hourly rate. There’s no office, factory, or workshop. You keep your tools at home, in your garage. Or right in your car. More often than not your laptop is your only tool. Of paperwork, there is very little or none. Government oversight — none. You are basically on your own.
Older folks are frequently leery of working without a safety net. While they like adventure and excitement on their vacations they are rather cool with the idea of taking many risks with a job. That’s why the gig economy is so attractive to the younger crowd. They are hardwired for adventure, exploration, and risk-taking.
What the gig economy offers . . .
It offers some bizarre and interesting, not to mention unbelievable, job opportunities. The kind of opportunities that someone who likes to sit in their recliner watching “Wheel of Fortune” would not be too thrilled with.
Do you want a snorkel with that order?
Food delivery opportunities have grown tremendously since the inception of the pandemic.
It seems as if everyone is staying home and ordering their food in. Kitchens are becoming as quaint and useless as an orangery.
Enter the food delivery person. Now you may think that this kind of job is old news. Kids have been delivering pizzas and other potential heart attacks for the past fifty years. What makes food delivery so intriguing in the gig economy is the how and where of delivering the grub.
In Florida, there are underwater hotels (they are underwater on purpose not by hurricane.) These hostelries need to make available food for their amphibious guests. And so is born the underwater food delivery person. Yes, this is a guy or a gal who dons a snorkel, flippers, and a bathing suit. He or she then plunges into a lake to bring pizza in a waterproof bag to hungry customers. The tips are not great, but there’s always a chance of hooking up with a mermaid.
The job of snake milker, not surprisingly, has a high turnover rate. You pull on the fangs of a viper or cobra to milk venom out of them. Sometimes you get to keep some of the product so you can write your own poison pen letters. (You might also consider handling bad jokes like the last one here — they’re pretty poisonous too!)
Dream job in the gig economy.
Companies with a lot of content to stream are hiring viewers to preview it all. This means that a company like Netflix might pay you to sit around and watch their new programs before they are offered to the public. Job liabilities include overdosing on popcorn and Mountain Dew.
Wake up and go to sleep.
Yes, this is the old joke come true. Mattress tester. There are factories and hotels that hire people to sleep on their mattresses and then offer feedback. It’s challenging work. How many different ways can you say, “I slept through the night?”
But wait, there’s more . . .
You can walk dogs for a living. Groom cats. Skip trace missing manhole covers. Shill for a food truck.
In other words, you can invent your own job description. Painting home numbers on street curbs. Collecting dandelions to sell to elderly Italian men so they can make dandelion wine. Spell check skywriting. Grow the world’s biggest radish and charge admission. Recycle old blackboards into kitchen countertops.
Long story short…if you build a job, someone will pay you to do it.