Summary of The Gig Is Up

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The Gig Is Up book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • For Beginners
  • Engaging


As the advantages of full-time employment diminish – with health insurance, pensions and other benefits fading away – freelance work is an increasingly appealing alternative. Gig work can offer relative freedom and steady financial rewards. In this brief how-to, educator Olga Mizrahi shows how to utilize third-party apps like Upwork or Guru to break into the freelance market and build a reputation. She describes how to move from apps to cultivating your personal client base and even hiring a staff. Mizrahi, an instructor at the University of California, Irvine’s Continuing Education program, offers a quick, peppy survey of the issues freelancers face – from acquiring insurance and planning for retirement to managing their time and contending with bad reviews. Her manual is an apt primer for newbies in the gig economy.

About the Author

Olga Mizrahi is a teacher in the Digital Marketing Program at the University of California, Irvine’s Continuing Education program. She writes the ChunkofChange blog and a column on small business for the Long Beach Post. For help identifying your Unique Value Proposition, download the worksheet available at


A New Template

The gig economy is growing. Many people are seeking alternative forms of work as traditional employment grows increasingly unreliable, with companies downsizing, automating and offshoring workloads. Digital platforms such as Uber and Upwork make it easier than ever to break into freelance work. A shift in societal attitudes about independent work supports the trend away from traditional careers. In the past, workers who lacked ties to a traditional job were taken less seriously. Today, when traditional jobs carry no guarantee of longevity, the notion that freelancing is less stable or serious is losing credibility.

A 2006 McKinsey Global Institute report said 20% to 30% of “working-age” people in the United States and Europe do freelance work, or “gigs.” For 10% to 15% of the working-age population, gigs are their main source of income. The gig economy covers a wide range of activities. Independent work can range from taking an occasional odd job to performing professional services such as corporate consulting. 

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