A gig isn't a career.

The word "gig" was first created to describe a live performance or engagement for a musician. A one-time event. A cute word to describe something to tide you over.

The problem today is that too many people confuse a gig with a career. It's assumed that any kind of temporary role is part of the "gig economy," but that's not the case at all.

I've been in the careers business for 20 years. My company places candidates in temporary, temporary-to-permanent and direct-hire roles across different industries. Whether a candidate is placed in a one-day assignment or full-time director position, staffing and recruiting is an industry about careers. Not gigs.

A gig is something for money to pay the bills for a short-term. Something you may not care about for the long-term. Something that gets you from point A to point B.

A career is a profession. Something you work at to perfect, get better, enhance your position in life and build a reputation. The gig economy is something that allows people to make some money on the side.

Uber is a gig. It is purely 1099s who choose to drive when they want, for how long they want. That's a gig. When people talk about a gig economy and include people who work in offices, call centers, doing customer care, graphic arts, software development, etc., it's demeaning. 

People who are good at working in a call center or contact center are good because they view it as a career. The job may be temporary; employees in those roles may be in between long-term situations or need flexibility, but it's a career.

People who work a gig are buying time. It's a short-term solution to purely collect money. There isn't anything wrong with it, but let's not confuse it with careers, with temporary roles through staffing and recruiting firms.

When I listen to people talk about the gig economy, I think it's terrific, because it gives people a chance to make quick money doing a job that doesn't need a long-term solution. The gig economy means that if an event needs security, bartenders or servers, you can work a day or a week and have a "good gig." 

But let's not confuse those jobs with people that are doing work they really care about and want to have a long-term relationship with. 

Being a parent isn't a gig. Serving the military isn't a gig. Having a career isn't a gig.