Translating Tech: The Gig Economy

By: Emily Thompson

The Gig Economy for Experienced Professionals

The traditional 40-hour workweek in an office is a thing of the past. How about working from a laptop on a beach in Thailand instead? Clients and talent both benefit from the flexibility of project-based work. Experienced professionals have the opportunity to work remotely while still earning rates commensurate with traditional executive jobs. Opportunities range from business consulting to architecture and engineering. Clients benefit from the ability to hire talent quickly who can deliver specific projects and expertise without the overhead of a full-time employee.

TalMix connects talent and companies in more than 150 countries. Opportunities for talent range from project-based work to interim projects and even full-time employment in 100+ sectors. The experience level for TalMix’s 400,000+ consultants ranges from junior consultants to c-suite level executives.

  • TalMix handles invoicing and payment between parties
  • Free for consultants, companies pay a fee for talent placement
  • Consultants compete for projects based on the strength of their proposal
  • Clients give consultants a ballpark budget range, and consultant negotiates final details

Guru freelancers have experience in a variety of professional services, including web development, advertising, sales and marketing, finance, graphic design, architecture and engineering and law, among others. Employers post jobs and freelancers create a profiles to search listings and to apply. Clients can pay by project milestones, by task, by the hour or use recurring payments. Clients pay a 2.5% transaction fee each time they pay an invoice.

  • 3,000,000 members worldwide
  • 1,000,000 jobs completed
  • $250,000,000 paid to Guru freelancers

Graphite vets consultants, executives and boutique firms for clients looking for specific domain-knowledge and functional experience. They vet their growing talent pool of 5,200+ so that clients can find the talent efficiently. Graphite Experts are experts in their fields. Clients can post listings to the website, call or email account managers for help specifying the scope of work, required skills and time required for the engagement. Graphite handpicks candidates for clients to interview over the phone or in-person. Clients and experts use the Graphite website to manage the engagement and handle contracting and billing.

  • 800+ consultants with Big-3 consulting experience (Bain, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey)
  • 65% of experts have advanced degrees from top programs (MBA, Ph.D., J.D., etc.)
  • 12-15 years of experience working at top firms

Toptal is an exclusive network of freelance project managers, software developers, finance experts, designers and product managers. To ensure that they are providing top-rated talent, only 3% of freelancers who apply to find work through Toptal are accepted. Clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. Toptal provides a no-risk trial period for clients when they hire a freelancer. Clients pay a $500 initial fee which is refunded if they decide not to hire a freelancer. Clients also pay an hourly rate, which is significantly more than the rate actually earned by the freelancer.

  • Global network of talent
  • Only 3% of freelancers are approved to work with Toptal clients.
  • No-risk trial period for employers


The largest of the freelance websites, is used by 5+ million businesses globally. Work is available for short-term tasks, recurring projects and full-time contract work. The site is free for clients to search candidates and for freelancers to create profiles. Clients approve work through before freelancers begin their scope. Invoicing and payment are also made through the Upwork website.

  • 170+ countries
  • Price work by the hour or set a fixed price
  • Freelancers pay a 20% fee on their first $500 of transactions, then the fee drops to 10%
    per transaction
  • Clients pay a 3% transaction fee when they pay their freelancers

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