In this $idehusl Q&A with financial columnist Kathy Kristof, we discuss Millennial employees and how their need for side hustles are fueling the gig economy.
As costs rise and wages stagnate, Millennial employees are struggling to earn enough money to live the way they want to live. Their solution? Side hustles that allow them to pick the work and hours they want. To consolidate information about various opportunities in the gig economy, nationally syndicated financial columnist Kathy Kristof recently launched the website $idehusl, which provides a one-stop shop for that info and grades opportunities according to a proprietary rating system. Read more about trends in the gig economy here.
Below is a Q&A with Kristof about the site. This piece was edited for clarity and conciseness.
How did $idehusl get started?
It started out as a pet project of mine, because I couldn’t get my hands around all you could do in the gig economy and how much you could earn, and being just naturally nosy, I wanted to find out for my own edification. There are really great platforms, but there are also incredibly abusive platforms that disguise themselves to be just like the good ones, and they’re not. As I got into it, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they can’t get away with this. Not on my watch.’
How does your site operate?
We read the terms and conditions, we research each and every opportunity because that’s our job. We’re kind of the consumer reports of the gig economy: we’re going to research, review and rate every single platform we can find. The ones that we’ve found range from being extraordinarily wonderful to abysmal. We have a score that aims to put together all the factors that are going to affect you including what you’re going to earn, but also handicapping in the risk you might be taking with the opportunity.
What kind of people are you hoping will benefit the most from the site?
I would estimate that about one-third of people are in the gig economy because they have some pressing financial need that can’t be addressed in another way. That’s the population I really started the site for. Those are the people who, when they go into the gig economy, need to know that they’re going to get a fair deal. They’re also the ones who are in the least good position to research the opportunities on their own because they’re in a hurry. They need the money.
What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the gig economy for the first time?
There are gigs in almost every industry, so look for what you really like to do, because you can find something that you like and something that will pay well, all at the same time. Research the platforms before you waste your time and certainly before you put your assets at risk. In some cases, something that looks like a good deal because it pays a decent hourly wage uses up so much of your resources that it’s really not worth your time. Your time is your most important asset, but you don’t want to put any other assets at risk either.
What’s your prediction on the future of the gig economy?
The gig economy is not only growing now, but is going to continue to grow at a rapid pace. It’s good because as the gig economy grows, there will be more opportunities and more different niches, and people will have an increasing number of chances to do whatever it is they really love. But it also opens up the possibility of abuse. This is something that is now getting attention of legislators, and you have to hope they’ll be smart enough to create safeguards without killing the industry overall.
To read more about recent trends in the gig economy, click here.