People all around the world are earning money in new ways. Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid look at the gig economy. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.
And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
“Hello beautiful people. My name is Fatima. I make beautiful outfits, bridal gowns and more.”
“My name is Ruqayya and This Is My Hustle: A home-based bakery located in Kaduna.”
“My name is Suleiman Umar Mani. I am from Katsina. I am a graduate of Agricultural and bio-resource Engineering. I am into production of fresh tomato, onion and sweet pepper.”
These are all Twitter posts. They are from young people in Nigeria. Sadiq Abubakar started the hashtag thisismyhustle. He is a small business owner. He wanted young people to post about the “hustle” work that they do. Hustle work is not full-time work under an employer. It is doing whatever informal work people can to make money. And it is increasingly common in many parts of the world. Today’s Spotlight is on “Hustle” culture and its growing importance around the world.
As the world changes, people always create new ways to survive. In modern economies, this often means finding different ways to make money. This can be work such as selling goods, making food or other things, or providing a service. But in different countries, people have different relationships with this kind of work. Sadiq Abubakar told the news organization NPR about the situation in Nigeria.
"Young Nigerians want to have success. What we hear about young Nigerian people is that we are lazy. But we are hard-working. We want to make it. Young people finish school and then are not able to find a job. So they start selling anything they can to make money. They do not want to depend on their parents.”
In many places there is not enough work in traditional jobs. Or jobs do not pay enough. People must make additional money by doing other work. Sometimes this work is called “hustle.” In English, to hustle means to work hard and hurry with energy. People must use their own energy and time to find work. And once they finish one job, they always have to hustle to find another.
There are many reasons for the rise of hustle work. One reason is because there are more people than jobs. Another reason is because technology is replacing traditional jobs. In some places, jobs require a lot of education and advanced training. All of this is changing how people work and do business.
Today, the internet and modern technology have also created different ways to work. Many more people do contract or freelance work. They can work remotely, from any place, on a computer. These kind of remote jobs are quickly increasing all over the world.
Some jobs do not even require a computer. They work through a cell phone App. For example, a person can use her own car as a taxi, for companies such as Lyft or Uber. Or a person can use his own house as a hotel for Airbnb. Economists have named this kind of work the “gig economy.” Gig workers shop and run errands, fix household things and even bring people their food. Some gigs include making and selling things on the internet.
This kind of work has many advantages. People want to do it because they can be their own boss. They can do many different things in their work. They can work from anywhere and choose the hours they work and rest. And hustle or gig work encourages people to do what they really enjoy. Even young people can start to share their skills and make some money! Chris Carosa is a financial advisor in New York. He tells the Chicago Tribune that preparing children/people for this new way of work is very important. It can help them improve their future and save money.
“Every child should have a side hustle. I tell parents, have them start with a hobby - something they enjoy doing. Pick a hobby they really like and see if they can make money on it. Kids are not married to a career; they are able to change and grow."
But there are dangers to the hustle economy too. Many freelance workers do not have the benefits that full-time work offers. They may not have health care or a support system to help them with their families. And some people may work too many hours. Some people have a full-time job and a side “hustle.” Avi Meir is the founder of TravelPerk, an online travel business. He says people need to balance work and rest. Otherwise, they will get too tired and “burn out”. Meir tells the media site Sifted:
““Hustle” culture is dangerous and damages people’s health. It is damaging to what people believe they and others can do. It is damaging to life and culture as a whole. I have met people who have burnt out. They walked away from the companies they spent so many lonely hours working to build. It does not have to be that way!”
The gig economy continues to grow in size and in jobs to do. And the technology for it is developing very quickly. There are many online networks that connect businesses and employers with freelance employees. There are also new ways of being paid for work from anywhere around the world. Modern “hustle” is a mixture of human creativity and modern technology. With these two things, there can be a hopeful future for this kind of work.
We cannot control what happens with the global economy as technology changes. But each person can manage their own work and life balance. We end our program today with advice from Nigerian Counselling Psychologist Dr. Ohemaa Nkansa-Dwamema. She talks about “hustle” in a video for the BBC:
“There is a difference between good hustle and bad hustle. Bad hustle easily becomes extreme. No sleep. But good hustle is about separation. Good hustle is about balance. It is about having other things in your life that allow you to take a rest.”
Do you have a side hustle? If you do, what is it? Do you get burned out? What hustle would you like to do? You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.
The writer of this program was Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “Hustle Culture: Work of the Future?”