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Gig work culture- From origin to opportunities and challenges; 7 gig work profiles that can help you earn more money.

Today, India’s work culture is undergoing a major transformation. Younger folks do not want to be tied down in jobs that involve them working long hours for little income. These people are finding long-term job prospects in the country’s rapidly expanding work culture, known as the gig work culture or gig economy.

Let us proceed along the lane to learn more about the history, benefits, limitations, and prospects of the gig work culture.

Define gig economy

A gig economy is a free market system in which firms engage independent workers for short-term commitments and contractual roles are frequent in such a work culture.

What is gig work?

Gig work comprises income-generating activities that take place outside of typical, long-term employer-employee contracts.

The term “gig” is a slang word referring to employment that lasts for a set amount of time. Traditionally, musicians used this phrase to describe a performance engagement.

Who are gig workers?

A gig worker is an individual or a company who gets work using an app or a seasonal employee hired in the industry who works on-call.

For example- A freelancer, an intern, or a part-time working individual.

Historical background

It’s everyone talking about the “gig economy,” and an increasing number of people being employed in it. The concept may appear to be new, but it is not. Before the internet world made a splash and popularized the gig economy, there were conventional systems that demonstrated that the gig economy existed in ancient times as well.

The gig economy in the 18th century

History has shreds of evidence that show that people before industrialization in the 19th century have multiple jobs to meet their life goals. Looking back in time reveals some of the problems, rewards, and repercussions of the gig economy.

The gig work is nothing new – it was standard practice in the 18th  century

 three persons on whom history shows the existence of Gig work culture.

Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (2017) discovered that the labour market was changing as a result of the rise of new business models and various types of ‘gig economy’ work. The journals of three men in 18th-century Britain provide intriguing insights into how middle-class individuals – the apparent predecessors of today’s gig economy – managed to work numerous jobs.

  1. A barber by occupation and rank, Edmund Harrold, a Manchester citizen in the early 18th century hired a modest business where he shaved people’s heads, purchased and sold hair, and made wigs. In his spare time, he worked as a book trader and, subsequently, as an auctioneer, selling different objects in Manchester and surrounding cities. He lent money when he had it, collecting a 10% return on his investments.
  2. Thomas Parsons was another huge advocate of the gig economy, working as a stone carver and amateur scientist in the city of Bath in 1769 – an activity that we would ordinarily define as leisure.
  3. John Cannon worked as an agricultural laborer, excise man, unsuccessful maltster, and teacher in the West Country.


It was something more than the money

Money was a topic of matter, but the diaries show that, much like now, gig work was about more than just money. These three men’s experiences demonstrate that people picked their careers because various jobs provided different types of fulfillment. Some duties paid them money, while others provided them with social standing. In other situations, they valued fulfillment and the status their gig working provided them just as much as monetary gain.

The possibility for networking, reputation development, and influence might be just as significant as the money. In reality, the value of employment in terms of status and income may be inversely related. Parsons (here, the second individual) gained the most of his money through stone-cutting rather than scholarly pursuits, but it was his scientific experiments that earned him the greatest respect. This, in turn, aided him in obtaining contracts.


7 Gig Work profiles to earn more

  1. Typing job

Pros- Typing jobs such as data entry require no specific qualification. The only thing you need is your laptop or PC.

Cons- You need to have a particular, preferably good typing speed; without which you will not be able to make good money.

  1. Teaching

Pros-A high school candidates can earn a good amount by providing tuition to the school grads.

Cons-Since, teaching is a very responsible activity, so one is not supposed to take the risk at any point in time. He/She has to go through the learning concepts deeply to make them an interesting tutor, failing which can eventually ruin their name.

  1. Influencer marketing

Pros- Companies use influencer marketing to raise brand awareness and improve publicity. This will assist you in developing partnerships for the firm as well as personal growth.

Cons- If it is online, one needs to have a strong online networking connection. If it is offline, one may have to travel a lot to meet people and raise brand awareness.

  1. Freelancing

Pros-If you have time left from your routine work profile and hold good knowledge about any specific task, then freelancing is a good parallel option for earning money. Freelancing jobs include blogging, content writing, graphic designing, etc.

Cons- the continuous workflow and deadline to complete a project can be a tedious task if proper time management is not done.

  1. Delivery executive

Pros-If you are someone who loves traveling a lot, then then the job of a delivery executive can be an exciting experience for you.

Cons- Being a delivery executive in harsh weather conditions can be an annoying job.

  1. Part-time gym instructor

Pros- If you are a fitness freak and have done certifications in the fitness domain, then working as a gym instructor can help you convert your love for fitness into a monetary gain.

Cons- You have to be very conscious while attending to clients as gym training includes weight lifting and dietary lifestyle changes. So any misinformation can lead to heavy damage on your as well as the client’s end.

  1. Trader

Pros- If you are someone who takes interest in the technical and fundamentals of the stock market, then the charge of a trader or a broker is a nice option for you.

Cons- As it deals in monetary transactions, one has to be very accountable in handling the funds


How it is helpful?

Let’s categorize the gig work culture into three categories of individuals-students, working professionals, and retired persons.

Working in the Gig Economy may be quite helpful for students since it allows them to make the most of their free time outside of campus while also earning some additional money. The Gig Economy allows to test out multiple career options before selecting which one to pursue after graduation.

The pandemic has caused individuals to reconsider their 9-5 work culture. They now desire greater freedom and independence in their profession. As a result, Gig work for white-collared professionals is a good way to break up their regular 9-5 work culture and increase their income.

While the terms “retirement income” and “retirement work” may appear to be meaningless terms, they are a more realistic goal today than in the past due to rising life expectancy and improving health among the elderly. As a result, the gig economy will greatly help this group of people.



The notion of gig work contains terms like “happiness” and “aspiration.”

Historical stories of the gig economy remind us that employment is more than just a source of income; it is also essential to our social and cultural life. We identify ourselves by the employment that we have.

Furthermore, we may see that job – even gig work – is dependent on status. Workers that rely on internet platforms for employment nowadays rely on their user ratings. Status and job are strongly intertwined. And activities that enable a person to gain status blur the lines between work and entertainment, or between unpaid and paid jobs.



Taking cues from the past, work was a social practice for men like Parsons, Harrold, and Cannon. It was more than just a way for them to sustain themselves; it was also an opportunity to develop skill, independence, and self-worth.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

Priyanka Chakraborty
Priyanka Chakraborty
Chakraborty is a Digital Journalist at Inventiva who drafts content on current social topics. Her forte is documenting opinionated content based on data, facts, and numbers while adhering to media ethics, which go beyond simply crafting news headlines. Her core intent in writing such content is that every word her viewers read should give meaningful insights to their time spent on the articles.


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