Gigonomics: Match Skills With Odd Jobs for Cash

Americans give on one one perfect job in favor of a slew of smaller gigs.

ByABC News via logo
May 9, 2010, 8:10 PM

May 10, 2010 — -- Even though employers added 290,000 jobs to payrolls in April, the unemployment rate inched closer to 10 percent and there's more competition from 800,000 out-of-work Americans who jumped back into search mode last month.

Since the job market isn't rebounding fast enough for some people, there's a growing group who are getting creative. They've given up their quest for one perfect job, and instead have settled on a slew of small jobs, often called gigs. And for them, the juggle works.

If you're experiencing the challenges of finding the right full-time opportunity, and you're wondering if multiple jobs may be right for you, there are several issues and steps to consider.

Expert time management skills are a must. When juggling multiple jobs, you'll have to move seamlessly from one task or location to another. That means you'll always have to hone in on what has to be done and then move on. Your weekly schedule will not only focus on doing your work, but also on seeking new projects. Most jugglers are always on the hunt for the next project or assignment so they don't experience a lapse in time or money between gigs. An hourly calendar that offers a week-at-a-view will serve you well.

Perform a thorough skills assessment. In a full-time job, you're likely focused on one core task that you perform every day using a specific skill. For example, you're the administrative assistant, the graphic designer or the sales associate with very little variation. But as a gig worker you may be all of those things—and more—in any given week. Your work need not be limited to just one area of focus, so make a list of all of the things you know how to do, including things you've never been paid for.

For example, someone who's handy around the house, but has never been paid as a handyman, can list that as a potential skill to put to work. Don't hold back on this master list.