The Gig Economy and Delivering with DoorDash

Learn about the gig economy, why it's here to stay, and how DoorDash is a great way to earn.

10 min read
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Chances are, you've probably heard the term "gig economy" when reading or learning about DoorDash. The gig economy can sound like something big, scary, or different. But in fact, it's just a way to talk about earning additional money. Recent statistics indicate that independent work is booming: in 2024, the number of active freelance workers in the US is estimated to skyrocket to a whopping 76.4 million.  

What is the gig economy?

Gigs happen when you pick up temporary work for money or work as an independent contractor to carry out specific tasks.

The majority of us are familiar with the idea of a gig, although we may not call it that. We can pick up a gig when we start house-sitting, mowing our neighbor's lawn, or walking someone's dog for some extra earnings. Gigs range in type and can be as daunting as repainting someone's large home — or as simple as delivering a meal with DoorDash. 

Are gigs and jobs the same thing?

What is a gig? Well, unlike full-time jobs, gigs are performed by independent contractors, rather than salaried and hourly employees. Gig workers get to choose how much they work, how often they work, and who they choose to work for. Unlike full-time employees, gig workers decide when, how, and how often they perform a task. So instead of having to report to an office (or virtual meeting) every day, gig workers have the freedom to work as they see fit, or as often or as little as they need.

The gig economy is based on temporary, flexible work. More times than not, "gig economy" is used to describe services provided by freelance writers, rideshare drivers, and third-party apps like DoorDash. DoorDash connects people who are ready to work with opportunities — sometimes on the same day they sign up.

Who does gig work?

All kinds of people. Gig workers come from all walks of life. Retirees who want to get out of the house. Parents who want to fund their child's tuition. Kids in college who want to make extra money when not studying. Entrepreneurs who need a flexible schedule while they work towards big goals. And even teachers who want to supplement their income

Why do people like gig work?

People like gig work because it's fast and flexible. And because it's a great way to earn, of course.

Gig work — or the "gig economy" — provides work for millions who are looking to earn more so they have more time to pursue their personal and professional goals.

Is it hard to find work in the gig economy? 

With gigs, there are usually no formal interviews and no long-term obligations. You sign up with an app, like the DoorDash Dasher app, contract with your neighbor, or help someone who needs a service. You work, get paid, and then the gig is complete. Once gig workers complete their task, they can move on to their next gig — which might be with the same company, or an entirely new one. 

Dx - Blog - The Gig Economy and Delivering with DoorDash - Dasher buying groceries

Is DoorDash considered gig work? 

Yes! Dashers are independent contractors who work on their own schedule. Here, we'll explore how delivery works with DoorDash, and tips on how Dashers can maximize their earnings.

Why deliver with DoorDash?

There are many benefits to being a DoorDash driver, especially if you're in between jobs, want a little extra cushion, or are working hard to make ends meet. You can choose your own hours, work when you want, and be your own boss. 

How does delivery with DoorDash work?

It's simple. Customers place an order for restaurant takeaway or other retail items through the DoorDash Dasher app. The Dasher will then pick up the order from the restaurant or shop for the requested retail items and deliver them to the customer. Dashing provides a flexible work opportunity to earn on your own schedule.

What do I need to deliver with DoorDash?

Aside from safe transportation and your smartphone, the DoorDash Dasher app has everything you need to earn and complete deliveries and tasks from restaurants, convenience stores, drugstores, and even pet shops. Once you start delivering, you'll also receive an insulated bag and Red Card, which will be useful for you as you dash. Plus, because DoorDash has the #1 Food & Drink app, you'll be first in line for on-demand work in your area.

 The DoorDash Dasher app lets you:

  • Sign up in minutes

  • Get paid fast

  • Set your own schedule/be your own boss

  • Find work near you

  • Get help when you need it

How can Dashers maximize their earnings?

 If you've decided dashing is right for you, there's a whole lot you can do to maximize your earnings.

  • Dash when it's busy: Right now, restaurants make up the biggest portion of DoorDash offers. Think of times people get hungry (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and tap 'Dash Now' or schedule a dash in advance to earn when demand is high.

  • Take your time: When you're new to dashing, you may need an extra minute to find parking or use the app. Go easy on yourself and give yourself the space to get the delivery right.

  • Dash at specific times: Think of times when people are at home: sporting events, big rain showers, and celebrating on the weekends. These are the times you can earn even more. 

Dx - Blog - The Gig Economy and Delivering with DoorDash - Dasher with bag

Benefits of the gig economy

There are many reasons people are drawn to contract work. Some people enjoy the freedom of creating their own schedule and answering their own calling. Others who may be more adventurous or independent may enjoy the opportunity to work on their own terms or build their own business. Overall, Dashers have more control over what they make. Here are the top benefits of working in the gig economy.

Find flexible work

What are the key differences between contract work and full-time employment? Contract work is done by independent contractors. Unlike full-time employment, contract work allows you the freedom to choose when, for how long, and for whom you want to work. Independent contractors are musicians, house painters, custodians, plumbers, electricians, and more. And while contract work may lack the perceived stability of full-time employment, many contractors enjoy the flexibility that gig work can provide.

Choose your work environment

 Do you like driving and fresh air or prefer being indoors? Do you like interacting with people and being sociable, or are you more task-oriented and focused? How well do you do with being on time? Is having a work schedule important to you?

When considering your next move, be it gig work or permanent employment, weigh these questions carefully. 

Maintain work-life balance

 If you value the freedom to make your own schedule and be your own boss, an office job may not be for you. Additionally, many people who have children or parents to care for may not be able to work shifts that interact with bedtime or mealtime. Depending on your duties to your partner or family, finding work that can provide you with earnings, as well as the flexibility to take care of yourself and loved ones, is more important now than ever. 

Gig work offers flexibility to earn

Choosing a career path isn't always easy. However, if you're looking to supplement your income, in the middle of a life transition, or find that traditional employment isn't for you, gig work like delivering with DoorDash can help you explore your options or can set you on the path to achieving your dreams.

If you're considering joining the gig economy, sign up to become a Dasher and join the millions of other gig workers earning on their own schedule.