Emergence of the smartphone app freelancer
When those resumes and interviews just aren’t pulling in the jobs, why are you sitting around waiting? You have a smartphone, right? Jump in! The gig economy is sky rocketing with meaningful jobs and amazing shortcuts into startup companies that you would have never imagined. Let me tell you about Wonolo, one of the leaders of it all!
How would you like to pick up your phone, pick a job, get there on time and do well, and get paid three days later? Sounds like a scam, right? What if I told you it wasn’t and I’ve been paying rent, bills, got a decent security deposit for an apartment and even going on vacation with the help of this new smartphone-app-gig-economy phenomenon called Wonolo?
So Feb of 2015 I was the unlucky person who walked down a dimly lit sidewalk in Brooklyn that included the remnants of broken cupboards and renovation pieces embedded into the cracks in the sidewalk, and one lucky 6-inch rusty screw lodged into the arch of my foot, right through my Sperry Docksides with no mercy. One ER visit and a tetanus shot later I was handed a cane and told to sit still for the next 6-8 weeks. But I was a waitress! I spent the next few weeks in bed crying, asking people to order me food and trying to come up with a plan to make money that was not as taxing and did not include a first, second and third interview, and that I could do immediately since my savings were depleted and my foot did not work.
I got out and went for a walk. Sat in a park and met a gentleman that introduced me to Wonolo; one of the leaders in the gig economy. I’m thinking, huh? I get paid three days later? Where do I go and can I make it there by cane? When this gentleman said, “nah, you just sign up through your phone, pass the background check, take the quiz and wait ’till they call you for an interview then you start work…” I was ecstatic. Skeptical, but at that point, I was ready to try anything.
I passed my background check, passed the quiz and sounded pretty nice on that 15 min interview and a week later jobs were buzzing on my phone!
Now Wonolo had just begun when I signed up so the companies were few. But who was I to turn down $100 bucks for 8 hours when it would come to my account three days later!
My first gig was a warehousing start-up: A farm-to-table recipe box subscription company called Marley Spoon. It was cool because though my task was simply filling up 1 oz Tomato paste and stuffing them into containers; this allowed me to see the inner workings of a start-up, in general. I even got offered full time after a few shifts but my curiosity for this new life of picking up shifts when I wanted to, from my phone, was way too intriguing to just ignore. I took the job with the mindset of catching up however as time progressed and more companies were added to the platform, there was simply no need to commit anywhere for the sake of money when I had a wide variety of options.
Now this opportunity to explore different fields, different industries and the concept of making my own schedule while recovering and living my life the way I wanted takes a whole lot of discipline and courage. You do have to show up on time with a positive attitude. You do have to remember your schedule and what site you are assigned to. And if you do well, you will get bonuses, but you have to show up and show out! You are technically a business, servicing your talent to your local market. There are many things, good and bad, you will experience with this new found freedom but once you overcome them, consider yourself an Independent Contractor, a Wonoloer!
Technically you are an Independent Contractor when you sign up as a Wonoloer, but you definitely have to prove yourself out there in some markets. There are rules to follow to keep the Requestor (Company)/ Wonolo relationship solid and you have got to be on your Ps and Qs no matter what. You will run into the occasional management staff who thinks you are there for them to take naps while you accomplish your task along with theirs. If you walk out on the job or start an argument you will get suspended or even deactivated and you ruin the opportunity. But handle it well enough and you could be managing the place, only if you want to!
You may run into the jealous employees who feel you might take their jobs so they spend the shift trying to sabotage your work. You could meet them outside after work and risk being deactivated and having charges pressed against you; or you can talk to management, find another work space and make it through the day and get a five-star rating (which gets you a $25 bonus if you use a referral code). Lastly you may get to a job you have had for months to be told “never mind” in which you could go home and cry because you were banking on that money; or you can press start since you got there on time, find a corner and contact Wonolo support and wait for it to be handled. If the Company cancels when you get there they have to pay you 50% of the intended amount. If after an hour of you being there the Company cancels or sends you home for reasons of their own (like they just didn’t need you or they were slower than normal, anything out side of disciplinary), they have to pay you a full day’s pay. These are only the rare occasion let downs that I have experienced and I will tell you the Wonolo team is armed and ready to protect you. Once you prove these things won’t move you, you have, in my eyes, made the cut.
From the Company’s perspective, hiring temps has become time-consuming, expensive and obsolete. Wonolo has cut down the time and the price of hiring and provides pre-screened freelancers to help get the job done. Companies can simply put together a day-to-day weekly or even a temp to perm itinerary of what they desire to accomplish. The Company can even choose whether it wants the Wonoloer for the entire week or to pick several days while another Wonoloer picks the remaining days. When the Wonoloer gets the notification, choose whether this Company’s profile and job description fits their capabilities and if the schedule works. Wonoloer clicks accept, Companies see the profile and the relationship begins! There have been many full time offers for those looking to be more stable. But for those free spirited folks who want to explore what their city has to offer, Wonolo is the newest career trend to give you that option until you find something you want to settle with!
So, go forth freelancer, try it out! Spread your wings in this dreary economy.