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Gen Z: Pioneers of the Side Hustle Economy

how Gen Z is popularising gig jobs

In a revealing contrast to prevailing narratives, Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2013, is carving a distinctive path in the workforce, prioritizing flexibility and innovation over traditional employment models. Despite 74% of managers reporting difficulties in working with Gen Z, and 57% of this generation showing a willingness to leave the 9-to-5 grind for social media influencing, a new focus has emerged: online side hustles.

Using the digital landscape

A report from The Washington Post highlights how Gen Z is leveraging the digital landscape to create substantial income streams, with individuals making up to $8,900 monthly through diverse online ventures, from financial advice on social media to trip planning services. This entrepreneurial drive is partly attributed to the economic challenges they’ve witnessed firsthand, including the 2008 financial crisis, the pandemic’s impact on education and job markets, and the recent surge in layoffs affecting entry-level positions.

The motivation behind these side hustles is clear: adapting to a cost of living that seems to continually outstrip wages. Colin Stroud, a 24-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, shared his journey from living paycheck to paycheck to achieving a $3,000 monthly income from side gigs. His success story began with sharing tips on LinkedIn about maximizing credit card rewards, leading to a profitable consultancy business in trip planning.

Its a proven fact

This shift towards side hustles is also reflected in a Credit Karma report, noting that 47% of Gen Z earns more from social media and online platforms than traditional jobs. The benefits of these endeavors extend beyond mere income, enabling savings, investments, and travel. Lending Tree’s survey further supports this trend, revealing that nearly half of Gen Z and millennials view side hustles as a permanent aspect of their financial strategy, with 80% relying on this additional income to meet basic expenses.

Gen Z’s embrace of side hustles is not just a testament to their adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit but also signals a significant transformation in work culture, where flexibility, creativity, and financial independence take precedence.

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