Education

Going gig

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar   | Photo Credit: Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

Deepika* is a final-year engineering student in Ahmedabad. Recently, her friend suggested that she takes up micro gigs for extra pocket money. It was then they discovered, Frapp.in, a platform offering new work opportunities and micro-gigs for students. Since then, Deepika and her friends are hooked — most gigs or tasks on the platform are digital marketing based and Deepika and her friend earn anywhere from ₹500 to ₹5,000 a day. Deepika tells me that going-gig is cool and many students in her class have taken up such tasks.

Bengaluru-based career guidance firm, Lodestar, is seeing an increase in the number of youngsters going gig. As per their estimates, this number currently stands at 10-15% (of urban college-goers).

Micro tasks

The word ‘gig’ is a slang word meaning ‘a job for a specified period of time’. While multi-tasking or taking up multiple tasks to supplement an income is not new, going ‘gig’ is definitely the new cool, especially among students. According to Murlidhar S., Founder and CEO of Lodestar, “Their motivations are freedom to pursue a career of choice and flexibility of time. Also, the ability to focus on work related to their passion and not get stuck in a job where work content is driven by the company.”

An example of a micro task is when a large FMCG brand pays a student to create content and promote a brand campaign. This task can fetch the ‘content-creator’ up to ₹5,000 per post.

Sources

There are several new-age platforms/ apps that students can download on their smartphone; they include Frapp.in, FeedMyPockets and GigIndia among others. “A majority of our taskers are from the 18-24 age group, mostly students. These students complete a variety of tasks on the platform across marketing, operations and research for different brands,” says Niranjan Nakhate, co-founder of Frapp.in.

Adds Nakhate, “The additional money earned by students is used in making aspirational purchases whether they are branded shoes or a coffee at Starbucks. Some also use it to supplement the family income.”

Value add

“As a career guidance company our mantra is ‘follow your passion’ and your ‘Passion is your Paycheck’. Given this, we strongly encourage youngsters to discover themselves and find the work that they would love to do. The nature of the assignment — whether a traditional job or gig, does not matter,” says Murlidhar. He further adds, “If you like ethical hacking and can focus on developing your skill/expertise in that, so be it, take up gigs that help enhance your expertise.”

According to Nakhate, “We have noticed that students who are pursuing a particular professional skill such as coding or design not only earn more but get a chance to work on real-time projects by large technology companies they would not earlier have had access to. That is a value add as it already builds their portfolio and helps them land a better job.”

Companies such as Bounce, Flipkart, Amazon and Samsung among many others, have multiple gig openings all year round.

The last word

Rishabh*, a student from a leading Mumbai arts college says, “I take up multiple gig tasks as they provide me with flexibility and career options. I am able to follow my passion and work for a company I want to, for a duration I am comfortable with.”

Another student from Mumbai could not land an internship for six months. Finally, she landed gigs with Samsung, Sony Music, Fastrack to create content — she has created multiple music videos, dance videos, fitness videos and has even got free phones from Samsung — that has inspired her juniors to go gig too.

Parents are also open to the idea of their kids going gig, as it makes them proud that their kids are following their passion and earning from it too.

*Names changed on request.

The writer writes on the Future of Work. She leads outreach at Axilor. Nisha@axilor.com

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 1:22:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/going-gig/article29861791.ece

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