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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Gigged

Gigged

The End of the Job and the Future of Work

Sarah Kessler

St. Martin's Press

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"With deep reporting and graceful storytelling, Sarah Kessler reveals the ground truth of a key part of the American workforce. Her analysis is both astute and nuanced, making GIGGED essential reading for anyone interested in the future of work." —Daniel H. Pink, author of WHEN and DRIVE

The full-time job is disappearing—is landing the right gig the new American Dream?

One in three American workers is now a freelancer. This “gig economy”—one that provides neither the guarantee of steady hours nor benefits—emerged out of the digital era and has revolutionized the way we do business. High-profile tech start-ups such as Uber and Airbnb are constantly making headlines for the disruption they cause to the industries they overturn. But what are the effects of this disruption, from Wall Street down to Main Street? What challenges do employees and job-seekers face at every level of professional experience?

In the tradition of the great business narratives of our time, Gigged offers deeply-sourced, up-close-and-personal accounts of our new economy. From the computer programmer who chooses exactly which hours he works each week, to the Uber driver who starts a union, to the charity worker who believes freelance gigs might just transform a declining rural town, journalist Sarah Kessler follows a wide range of individuals from across the country to provide a nuanced look at how the gig economy is playing out in real-time.

Kessler wades through the hype and hyperbole to tackle the big questi… More…

"With deep reporting and graceful storytelling, Sarah Kessler reveals the ground truth of a key part of the American workforce. Her analysis is both astute and nuanced, making GIGGED essential reading for anyone interested in the future of work." —Daniel H. Pink, author of WHEN and DRIVE

The full-time job is disappearing—is landing the right gig the new American Dream?

One in three American workers is now a freelancer. This “gig economy”—one that provides neither the guarantee of steady hours nor benefits—emerged out of the digital era and has revolutionized the way we do business. High-profile tech start-ups such as Uber and Airbnb are constantly making headlines for the disruption they cause to the industries they overturn. But what are the effects of this disruption, from Wall Street down to Main Street? What challenges do employees and job-seekers face at every level of professional experience?

In the tradition of the great business narratives of our time, Gigged offers deeply-sourced, up-close-and-personal accounts of our new economy. From the computer programmer who chooses exactly which hours he works each week, to the Uber driver who starts a union, to the charity worker who believes freelance gigs might just transform a declining rural town, journalist Sarah Kessler follows a wide range of individuals from across the country to provide a nuanced look at how the gig economy is playing out in real-time.

Kessler wades through the hype and hyperbole to tackle the big questions: What does the future of work look like? Will the millennial generation do as well their parents? How can we all find meaningful, well-paid work?

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CHAPTER 1

A VERY OLD NEW IDEA


At South by Southwest 2011, the napkins featured QR codes. Flyers rained down from party balconies, and the grilled cheese—provided by group messaging app GroupMe—was free.

Startups looked...

Praise for Gigged

"Kessler’s timely book explores the personal, corporate and societal stories behind a massive tech-driven shift away from permanent office-based employment [...] Perhaps the most revealing parts of the book are the stories of real workers in the gig economy." —The Financial Times

"Reporter Kessler's insightful exploration argues that the increase of people working as freelancers rather than employees of organizations is largely owing to technology that allows workers to deliver services coordinated by apps [...] An appealing choice, chiefly for those interested in the effects of the gig economy on workers." —Library Journal

"In this well researched and beautifully written book, Sarah Kessler provides a very accessible but sophisticated analysis of the “gig economy.” While vividly telling moving stories about individual hardships and achievements, it provides a broad perspective that helps us see the “gig economy” as the latest manifestation of the long-running historical struggle over power, security and risk between different classes. It is essential reading for anyone who is interested in understanding the future of our economy and society." —Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User’s Guide

"Sarah Kessler's wonderful book offers unprecedented illumination of the promise, and the peril, of the gig economy by taking a deep and inti… More…


"Kessler’s timely book explores the personal, corporate and societal stories behind a massive tech-driven shift away from permanent office-based employment [...] Perhaps the most revealing parts of the book are the stories of real workers in the gig economy." —The Financial Times

"Reporter Kessler's insightful exploration argues that the increase of people working as freelancers rather than employees of organizations is largely owing to technology that allows workers to deliver services coordinated by apps [...] An appealing choice, chiefly for those interested in the effects of the gig economy on workers." —Library Journal

"In this well researched and beautifully written book, Sarah Kessler provides a very accessible but sophisticated analysis of the “gig economy.” While vividly telling moving stories about individual hardships and achievements, it provides a broad perspective that helps us see the “gig economy” as the latest manifestation of the long-running historical struggle over power, security and risk between different classes. It is essential reading for anyone who is interested in understanding the future of our economy and society." —Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User’s Guide

"Sarah Kessler's wonderful book offers unprecedented illumination of the promise, and the peril, of the gig economy by taking a deep and intimate dive into the day-to-day lives of the workers who rely on it. The resulting insights are important and often troubling." —Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future

"Gigged offers a timely and in-depth look at the promise and peril of the gig economy from one of the first journalists to recognize how big and important this new market would become. In the tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, Sarah Kessler goes behind the statistics to tell the stories of people making a living (sometimes just scraping by) as gig economy workers. Gigged is smart, entertaining, moving, and at times even inspiring. Sarah Kessler writes like a dream. If you want to know how work is changing and how you too must change to keep up, you must read this book." —Dan Lyons, New York Times bestselling author of Disrupted

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Reviews from Goodreads

Sarah Kessler

SARAH KESSLER is a reporter at Quartz, where she writes about the future of work. Before joining Quartz in 2016, she covered the gig economy as a senior writer at Fast Company and managed startup coverage at Mashable. Her reporting has been cited by The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and NPR.

Sarah Kessler

St. Martin's Press

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