Empowering dreams: Selamawit’s triumph in the gig economy

Individual Case Story | Labour System

In the rural village near Ambo, where Selamawit was born and raised, life seemed to have predetermined her path. Like many girls in her community, she was forced into an early marriage, abruptly halting her education at the eighth grade. But Selamawit’s spirit burned with a desire for something more, something different.

At the tender age of around 18, Selamawit made a daring escape to Addis Ababa, seeking refuge with distant relatives. Her dream was to continue her education, to break free from the chains that bound her. However, life had other plans. With limited options and mounting responsibilities, she found herself taking on a job as a cleaning and cooking maid, earning a meagre salary that barely covered her basic needs.

But Selamawit’s determination refused to waver. As she embraced motherhood and the sole responsibility of raising her child, she knew she had to find a way to improve her income. She embarked on a journey of self-improvement, enrolling in short training courses to enhance her culinary and pastry skills. Yet, despite her newfound expertise, the struggle to make ends meet persisted, casting a shadow of misery over her aspirations.

Then, a glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon. Selamawit’s church community introduced her to GoodayOn, a digital gig marketplace that promised opportunities for individuals like her. Intrigued, she joined the platform on March 21, 2022, unsure of what lay ahead.

Little did she know that this decision would change her life forever.

Selamawit’s first gig through GoodayOn arrived on April 17, 2022. It was a recurring cooking job for a small family, offering her a chance to showcase her culinary talents. Four days a week, three hours a day, she poured her heart into creating delicious meals, earning a monthly salary of 2,500 ETB This additional income breathed new life into her financial situation, allowing her to work an extra 12 hours per week while balancing her hotel job and the cooking gig. GoodayOn’s thoughtful matching system ensured that the gig aligned perfectly with her preferred location and schedule.

As time went on, Selamawit’s dedication and commitment shone through. In July 2022, she seized an opportunity to cater for a party of 15, earning 4,000 ETB in a single gig. With each passing month, her income remained steady, juggling her full-time hotel job and the recurring cooking gig she had taken in April. The consistent monthly earnings of 5,500 ETB provided a glimmer of stability in her life. However, she had to decline several cooking gigs due to conflicting schedules, a testament to her growing popularity and demand.

But Selamawit’s story didn’t end there. Fuelled by her success and newfound confidence, she made a life-altering decision in December 2022. She bid farewell to her full-time hotel job, embracing the gig economy wholeheartedly. What’s truly remarkable is that she now earns more while working fewer hours than before.

Today, Selamawit is the master of her own destiny. She effortlessly manages three recurring cooking jobs, each one a testament to her culinary prowess. And when opportunities arise, she fearlessly takes on one-time gigs, seizing the chance to showcase her skills and earn extra income. In March 2023 alone, she accepted three one-time gigs, adding an impressive 7,000 ETB to her monthly earnings of 5,000 ETB.

Selamawit’s story is just one of many inspiring tales found within the GoodayOn community. Women like her, armed with determination and a burning desire for a better life, are transforming their home skills into valuable assets. Through the gig economy, they are breaking free from the constraints of traditional employment, embracing flexibility, and carving their own paths to success.