The Gig Economy is the Future of Work

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SThe so-called gig economy, perhaps better described as flexible, less stable forms of earning money, is now participated in by a full 15% of the UK workforce, a number expected to rise by another million and a half people in the next five years. When outside observers focus on the gig economy, they tend to think of casual, low-paid forms of work such as food delivery driving or temp work within the service industry.

However, this only makes up around half of all jobs within the gig economy. The rest are largely professional jobs requiring highly skilled workers, as well as millions of medium-skill, well-paying jobs in between. All studies have shown that the UK workforce will be transformed by the rise of casual employment over the next decade, to the point where as much as half of all workers will participate in the gig economy in some form by 2030.

While there are admittedly some disadvantages to this form of work in comparison to more traditional salaried roles, not least the lack of a fixed monthly income, there are also numerous advantages. For one, it makes hiring workers much easier for employers, leading to an overall increase in the amount of work available.

Professional gig workers also have the ability to set their own salary, control their own hours, and focus on skill-building. If you’re wondering how best to cash in on the gig economy, these are the best ways to do it, from tech roles to work within the UK’s dynamic and growing financial sector.

Software Development 

The tech sector has seen by far the highest wage growth within the UK over the past five years, with demand far outstripping the supply of qualified workers. If you’re adept at coding, programming, and software development, utilising your skills within the gig economy could see you earning as much as £60,000 a year, which is far more than the salaries offered by many conventional companies. The most in-demand skills at the moment include AWS Lambda, C++, and Python. 

Financial Trading 

You don’t need to be working 100 hours a week in the City of London to be pulling in a huge salary. Financial trading is an increasingly popular option within the gig economy, particularly within lucrative sub-sectors such as foreign exchange or forex trading. Anyone can get started, as long as they have access to the right platforms and resources to allow them to begin trading. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can start trading just like a city stockbroker. 

Social Media Marketing 

The full potential of social media as a marketing and public relations tool is only just starting to be realised. Fees for freelance social media marketers and consultants rose rapidly last year, with many short-term Instagram marketing gigs paying around £30 an hour. You’ll need more than just an eye for good photos; qualified marketers will be adept at social media optimisation (SMO), link-building, and making connections within the industry. 


If you have a flair for the written word, you could be making some serious money. There are a wealth of high-paying writing jobs within the UK right now, with the majority of gigs consisting of copywriting, product descriptions, advertorial, SEO, and proofreading work. You’ll need a substantial portfolio before you can expect to be recruited by the best-paying agencies and companies, so you may need to work for free before you can get your foot on the ladder. 

Teaching and Training 

The private tutoring market within the UK is booming at the moment, swelling to over £6 billion in 2019. With competition among families to get their children into the best schools intensifying, many are willing to pay big to anyone who can help bump the grades up to where they need to be. Beyond tutoring children, there are thousands of various freelance training and teaching jobs that allow people to monetise their own skills and experience. You can work as an HR consultant and get paid huge amounts to train up an office, for instance. You can also tutor university students in everything from how to write an English essay to how to write a winning PhD funding application. In the modern economy, knowledge is power. 

If you want to take control of your career and join the gig economy, these are the most lucrative ways to do so. Get ahead of the competition by preparing for the future of work today. 


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