Leverage the "Gig" (Idea #3*)

Feb 24, 2012

In my state (Oregon), there are six people looking for every one job—this despite a rosier than expected jobs picture in January.

We need to get beyond thinking about the traditional "job" as the goal. What we want is people working in productive and meaningful ways that allow them to earn decent wages and contribute to the overall well-being of their communities. Work can take the form of a job, but it can also take the form of a series of "gigs"—shorter periods of typically intense work. Some industries—typically in the creative sector—are organized around the "gig" already: film, music, performance art, etc.

Greg Hartle and I talked about this as part of his "Ten-Dollars-and-a-Laptop" Project. Feel free to have a listen.


What would happen if we facilitated access to "gigs" through the workforce system and not just "jobs"? Would more people find paid work? What else would people need to help navigate this kind of work and document what they learn?

Let's find out...

* This is part of a series of entirely subjective posts intended to inspire greatness among applicants to the Workforce Innovation Fund. The opinions and perspectives expressed here are not those of Social Policy Research, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) or anyone other than the author. Please steal the ideas you find most promising.