Which Word Is Better? Gigs or Jobs?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Joe Flood 9 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #137193

    As you may have seen over the last few months, GovLoop has been rolling out a lot of new features under the general banner of “GovGigs.” It’s all our jobs-related content: 1) “Rock Your Resume” Project, 2) GovLoop Mentors Program, 3) Online Training and Resources, 4) A New Website (coming very, very soon).

    A big part of getting a campaign / initiative right is using the language and branding that speaks to the target audience. So I am wondering if you could sound off a bit on the use of the word “gigs” vs. “jobs.” Here’s my back of the napkin on it:


    • fresh, hip and a connotes a musical performance, so fun feel (vs. bureaucratic)
    • differentiates from other sites out there
    • approximates the GovLoop brand and feel
    • established, commonplace
    • reader immediately understands what you’re talking about (not so for gigs?)
    • better for search engine optimization – how do you look for work? likely “government jobs”

    What do you think? Any perspective for us?

  • #137241

    Joe Flood

    Gigs seems to me temporary, project-based or freelance work – isn’t that how Craigslist does it?

  • #137239

    Mark Hammer

    A “gig” is what a union or non-union musician gets. Hopefully, it is a “paying gig”. It is simply a short-term engagement.

    Note that we woud use the phrase “temporary job” to distinguish it from what we might expect if someone said “I got a job!”, and would use the phrase “permanent gig” to distinguish it from what we might expect if someone said “Our band finally got a gig”.

  • #137237

    Steve Ressler

    From Twitter


  • #137235

    Maurice Alexander

    I would have to agree with the other replies. The term Gig, whether accurate or not, is normally associated with term positions, one-off jobs, and implies no long term commitment.

    While I agree there is a need to create language in a fashion that appeals to a younger demographic, you also do not want to insinuate that using the term gig in a professional enviornment is appropriate either.

    Very good question. I’d be interested to hear someone in favour of the use of Gig.

  • #137233

    Denise Petet

    I agree. When I hear ‘gig’ (other than a measurement of computer memory) I think of a short term temporary job with a definite beginning and ending.

    A gig is…the two weekends a year I house sit or video taping a wedding or graduation…etc. One time events.

    A job is something that hopefully lasts, for years.

  • #137231

    Terrence Hill

    I agree with everyone about the temporary nature of the term “gigs” although it does garner a certain “hipness” due to its alliterative connotations with GovLoop. I would rather see “Career Opportunities” than just “Job.” These come so fast and furious that I will most likely stop following the GovLoop Twitter feed. It would be nice to prominently display the link on the GovLoop homepage, but Career Opportunities should not be mixed in with blog entries.

    I’m so excited that I can actually access GovLoop at work now! We’re making progress!

  • #137229

    Chris Poirier

    I agree with most here, “gig” usually sounds “temp” to me as well.

    However, I think @Terry nailed it: “Opportunities” is a great word for this context. Positive, up beat, etc.

  • #137227

    Carol Davison

    To me gigs are informal short term opportunities like a have a singing gig at The Silver Tavern July 31st.

    Additionally all we hear about are JOBS JOBS JOBS. That is the wrord people are used to, and the Federal Plain Language guide would use that word because it has a specific meaning. It is okay for us to be cool, but not when people’s financial livlihood is at stake. I beg you to use JOBS.

  • #137225

    Melissa Merrell

    I agree with other folks – gigs sounds temporary and non-invested. Jobs though sounds almost burdensome…It’s my jooooob. like wooooork. Careers and opportunities sound more optimistic, though longer and less catchy. You could go Bennifer route and mash something together like GOVortunities or GOVocations or shortened like GovOps.

  • #137223

    Well–acknowledging my minority status, I like Gigs for the reasons you provide. As a former freelance musician, I can say that it may be a good thing if we recognized our work is temporary and contantly changing, so we should make the most of it–tomorrow (or next year) it will be something else. Even if you stay within the government, you’re likely to play a variety of roles.

    I also agree with commenters that other possibilities other than Gig and Job.

    We already have USAJobs. A Job is something I do because I have to. A career is something I constantly want to learn and grow.

  • #137221

    Marco Morales

    I guess the proper vernacular regarding the word “gig” would depend on who is interpreting the reference to either a wild party or a more formal setting — as in “job”… In some rap circles it could be referred to as “joint”. (not the marihuana type) – as in:

    “Hey man, what’s your take on this joint?” which could also mean musical selection or someone’s date … There are many variations of how “gig” might be interpreted but it depends on who is saying it and it what context.

  • #137219

    Thanks for the thoughtful, excellent feedback everyone!

    We’re taking this to heart…

  • #137217

    Heather Krasna, MS

    I’d chime in a tad, that in this day and age, jobs seem to come and go so fast that maybe they’re all becoming “gigs”! “Gig” is definitely a more fun word, though.

  • #137215

    Kevin Dubs

    I’m also in the minority here but think that you really have to differentiate from the loads of other job and career related websites and stick with gigs. From a branding and marketing perspective, GovGigs is much better than GovJobs or GovCareers.

    There’s definitely something to be said for the word job though. For SEO, people aren’t going to search for gigs.

    My recommendation: do a hybrid. Use the branding GovGigs and then a quick motto with the words job and government. Something like “GovGigs: Your Government. Your Job.”

  • #137213

    Robert Eckhardt

    My computer runs and batches jobs, I go to work, musicians have gigs.

  • #137211

    Like this idea …. how about “GovGigs: Government Jobs Made Simple”

  • #137209

    Kevin Dubs

    It’s catchy but maybe not entirely accurate….no gov’t job or application is simple. I guess it depends how literally you take it. I like the underlying theme behind it though.

    Some brainstorming…

    “GovGigs:Unfolding/Demystifying/Unlocking Government Jobs”

    GovGigs: Unlock Your Government Career

    GovGigs: Government Job Clarity

  • #137207

    How about sticking with the music theme:

    Score Your Next Government Job
    Rock Your Government Job Search
    Break Into A Government Career

  • #137205

    Kevin Dubs

    It has to be something that applies to both current and aspiring govies so the 1st applies most to current and the 3rd applies to aspiring. That leaves Rock Your Government Job Search which I really like, definitely stays with the music theme, and is pretty similar to Rock Your Resume which people seem to like.

    My votes are for:

    Rock Your Government Job [Search].

    Your Government. Your Job.

    Unlock Your Government Career.

  • #137203

    Denise Petet

    Gov Gig – Your big break for a new career

  • #137201

    Mark Hammer

    But why the need to “talk to the kids in their lingo”?

    As a recruiter, one is asking others to become part of an existing organization. The organization is certainly willing to entertain new ideas, but is disinterested in having the organization reformed in the image of new people. What it wants is people to merge with its long-standing culture.

    Maybe the applicants think about “gigs”, but what the organization itself has to offer are jobs. And if you want them to be in jobs, then you tell them that’s what you have. If they can’t figure that out, maybe you don’t want them.

    I mean, cripes, should government relabel itself as Serv-N-Ern to conform to the popular standard of consumer-oriented misspellings?

    Call me a curmudgeon but the constant catering to youth idioms of the day undermines clarity in language, and devalues what the organization has achieved already. If the org is worth working for, then the existing terminology is worth using. Youth culture comes and goes, but government is forever.

  • #137199

    Lori Bills

    If I had to choose between the two Gigs or Jobs, I would choose Gigs. At first when I came across it on GovLoop, I just laughed at the word, because my first thoughts were musically inclined, “Did you get the gig”? And I also thought this post was from a YG blogger. I’m no longer in the younger generation, but I actually like it for the reasons you listed, it is fun, fresh and it caught my attention, more than “jobs”.

    Learning and career development are and will always be interests of mine. I like “Gigs” and “Career Opportunities” or “Career Op” as far as the lingo goes.

  • #137197

    “Gig” definitely has a temporary feel to it. I suppose if we (as GovLoopers) see that gig is not associated with temporary; we could grow into it. The problem is that would return to it normal association once the conversation leaves the GovLoop arena.

  • #137195

    Ryan Farrell

    I like Gigs as well. One, it uses alliteration, which makes it stick in people’s minds (at least the case for me). Two, it differentiates you from the hundreds of job search sites out there. It may be harder for someone to learn about your site from an SEO standpoint but I think with a good amount of social marketing and word of mouth you should be fine. Third, it promotes the idea that every job is temporary, which I think all jobs are (unless you come across your dream job or become your own boss). As people know in this economy, no “job” is permanent. As a Gen Y contractor whose company laid off two employees last week, a gig more accurately describes how we younger workers view employment.

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