The Baker Orange

Living the gig life

Story by Lauren Freking, Columnist

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I know for a fact that I will never get a tattoo. It is not because I have something against tattoos, and it is not because I signed a contract with my Grandma when I was 8 saying I would never get a piercing or tattoo (okay, maybe that is partially why).

I will never get a tattoo because I am indecisive. I go through stages. There was my obsession with Adele, my phase of mourning after my dog died, my athletic stage, and so many more. I would be obsessed with my tattoo and then hate it within three months.

Many college students can identify with this problem in a different way. Deciding on a career or major to last the rest of the foreseeable future can be difficult. The best way to solve this roadblock decision is simple: avoid it.

That is correct. Many millennials are avoiding work in their specified major or in one career for the rest of their lives. Instead, they are choosing to enter the gig market.

The gig economy is defined by Wired magazine as, “nontraditional jobs taken by independent contractors, temps, or freelancers.” In the gig economy, employees work a job for a few months, maybe a year maximum, then switch industries. Different “gig” jobs include Uber drivers, live-in nannies, translators, freelance writers, yoga instructors, dog walkers and more.

Some college graduates take on gig jobs after graduation in order to make an income while waiting for an offer from somewhere more serious. Students also take gig jobs to explore new passions and avoid becoming trapped in a career they are not passionate about.

Some freelance writers apparently earn up to $53,000 a year, while some dog walkers can get up to $39,000 a year in Los Angeles, according to NBC. In general, the world is seeing a major shift in the way people work, and gig economies are a trend.

USA Today finds that, “There is definitely a major shift in the way people work, with more and more people realizing that they don’t need to be tied down to a single place to work effectively.”

The gig economy offers millennials the chance to gain unique skills and work in different parts of the country. You are only young once, so why waste your youth sitting behind a desk at some accounting firm for 60 hours a week?

Some would argue that millennials have commitment issues, but why pass judgment on jobs that can build character and teach life lessons through experience?

Due to my commitment issues, I may never have a tattoo, no matter how strongly I feel about the lyrics to Adele’s “Hello,” and to be honest, the gig economy sounds like a great deal.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing at all.” The gig economy makes that adventure look even more exciting.