About a year and a half ago, Jonathan Perez left his job as a grooming manager at a large pet store chain.
The 30-year-old from Berwyn, IL, had grown tired of his employer’s quota-based model; he wanted to give canine customers more time and attention.
Perez decided to take his talents on the road: He started doing pet grooming independently, dubbing his truck-based enterprise Woof-Tastic Mobile Grooming.
Just like that, Perez had exited the traditional employment model to join the ranks of the “gig economy”: a vast, diverse cohort of self-employed strivers whose work often comes in the form of discrete tasks and short-term projects. They range from videographers, copywriters and ride-share drivers, to plumbers, electricians, dog walkers, food-delivery drivers and beyond. About a third of adults participated in the gig economy in 2017, according to the latest Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking report by the Federal Reserve.
“I work hard,” Perez acknowledges. “I’m really tired. But at the end of the day, I still feel good, because I know it’s my own business. The harder I work, the better I’m going to do.”