Tips for Freelancers and Gig Workers

Jun 20, 2019
8 minute read
A black coffee mug with the word 'Hustle' printed on it, sitting on a desk by a laptop and a pencil.

Are you looking to make some cash with a second job? Are you intrigued about freelancing and gig-work? Our handy guide to the world of side-hustle will tell you where to find these opportunities and how to succeed as an independent contractor.

Many Canadians today are freelancing for their primary source of income or working in temporary project or task-based jobs, either for personal or professional reasons.

Some prefer the flexibility and independence of freelancing, for some a temporary gig is the only work available, and for others it’s a means to make extra money on the side of their day job.

Once a growing trend, gig work is now its own thriving economy. 20% to 30% of the Canadian workforce is made up of part-time, freelance, contractual, temporary and other contingent workers. [1]

The ubiquity of technology has changed the way we live, work and play. Work-on-demand apps and social media makes it easy for anyone to connect with consumers in real-time. That gave birth to a sharing economy of flexible, part-time work opportunities. Driving this demand further are companies and businesses looking to trim costs with an agile workforce of as-needed workers. [2]

In this backdrop, it’s easier than ever to carve your space in the freelance and gig economy, create a source of income doing the work you love, and eventually evolve into a mini entrepreneur.

Man sitting in casual clothes working on a laptop at a restaurant or cafe.

Benefits of freelancing and part-time jobs

1) Freedom and flexibility: With freelance and part-time jobs you control when and where you want to work, and for whom. You decide your work schedule and earn as much or as little as you can manage.

2) Boost your savings: To clear loan debt, save for a big purchase or to just keep up with regular monthly expenses, freelancing and short-term jobs give many the confidence to pursue their goals when income from the primary job falls short.

3) Opportunity to up-skill: Side-jobs are a great way to transition to a new career. They expose you to the industry you are keen to enter, help you build out your portfolio and enhance your resume with relevant work experience.

4) Segue to permanent employment: If a full-time position is what you’re after, freelancing helps you get a foot in the door, develop connections and serves as a training ground to hone your skills, so when the opportunity arises, you can present yourself as a competitive candidate.

5) Low-entry barrier: People who are unable to access traditional employment opportunities benefit from freelancing and the gig marketplace. The disabled or those with cultural, social or language barriers can find meaningful and well-paying gigs that allow them to work virtually or remotely.

A man delivering a cardboard box to a customer who is signing the delivery form.

Where can I find freelance and gig work?

Sharing Economy Apps

The gig marketplace is teeming with opportunities for part-time second jobs and on-demand positions. Based on your skills, the reviews you’ve accumulated, and your price, these platforms get you booked for errands, on-demand tasks and same-day services with people in your local area. Popular on-demand gigs are for tasks like

  • Cleaning and repairs
  • Furniture assembly
  • Moving, hauling, heavy lifting
  • Yard work and lawn mowing
  • Handyman services like plumbing, electrical fixes and painting
  • General help with pick up and delivery, flyer distribution, data entry, dog walking, organizing, decluttering, helping at events

Top platforms for sharing economy side-jobs

Ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft have been the go-to option for many to supplement their paychecks with part-time work. You get to fit in driving anytime you want and decide how and when you want to get paid.

Food delivery services like Foodora, Uber Eats, DoorDash, are an easy fit for people who love being active and outdoors and want a flexible gig. You choose your own hours and make money on your own schedule.

Grocery delivery services like Instacart  and Inabuggy pay you to be a personal shopper and deliver a customer’s order. You select your hours, and get paid weekly. It’s also a great way to discover new neighbourhoods in a city.

Task-based platforms like  TaskRabbit, Handy and AskforTask connect people looking for help around their home with local taskers and independent service professionals. You no longer have to solely rely on Kijiji and Craigslist to offer your services for a few hours as a dog walker or a handyman. Som