Los Angeles has always been a gig economy town, long before the term ‘gig economy’ was the new, hot buzzword in tech and business writings. There’s a (somewhat tired, mostly untrue) idea that LA’s young creatives hustle until they “make it,” instilling them with a work ethic and romantic stories of their struggle days. The reality is less binary. It’s more likely that as your career grows, the scales balance in favor of your creative endeavors, but few of us have the luxury of feeling like our side-hustle days will ever be truly behind us.
Working as a waitress until your first break is such a rite of passage, it’s basically a cliche. But it turns out, well-paying wait staff jobs can be hard to get and today, there’s enough competition out there that the first time you blow off a shift for an audition will be your last. Staff jobs are still relatively easy to come by for fast casual dining (think your Chipotles, To-Gos, Tendergreens, etc), but the tips aren’t enough to get by on.
Catering’s been popular among LA’s creative class because you get to meet a lot of people quickly, have a flexible schedule, and usually have better earning potential than a coffeeshop or fast casual dining. But working through catering companies does require a bit of commitment and taking yourself off the roster a few times for an audition, showcase, or class isn’t likely to make you their top candidate.
This flexible in-between stage is exactly where FNKTION shines.
Since you can choose your profile visibility on their interface, it’s easy to customize your availability based on your schedule. FNKTION lets their clients hire event staff for private parties by selecting FNKTION user profiles. This not only makes it more personal (the bartender you want for your Burning Man camp reunion might be different from the bartender you want for your grandparents’ anniversary party) but also lets the client and the staff members interact directly. You’re free to negotiate, ask questions, and work out the details directly.
FNKTION is currently accepting candidates for wait staff, bartenders, models, event influencers, and party hosts, making this a great time to make a name for yourself early, before the site’s inundated with competition. The quick online application is easy and free, allowing up to four photographs and profile customization so you can start finding jobs that same day. Connect with a client, perform the job, and FNKTION pays directly into your bank account within 72 hours of completion.
Here are a few insider tips to making your FNKTION profile shine.
Even if you don’t have much in the way of experience, you should mention what kind of dining experience you are comfortable and familiar with. If you are naturally chatty and establish a quick rapport with crowds, mention this as a skill for casual serving environments. If you can eyeball the difference between a New York strip and a Sirloin and recommend a good wine to go with each, then upscale fine dining is your jam.
How skilled a bartender you need to be is totally dependent on the event, so keep this in mind and play to your strengths. If you can craft a classic cocktail to any specification from memory, put it out there. (Also, be honest with yourself. There is nothing worse than ordering “vodka martini straight up with a twist” and getting some vermouth-and-olive monstrosity from an unskilled bartender.)
But if pouring wine into a small plastic glass is more your speed, that’s fine too! You’ll make less per hour than a skilled bartender, but tons of events need this. If you have an interest in art openings, indie film screenings, book signings or lecture series, mention it and stand out from the crowd.
If you live and breathe social media and know how to get a hashtag trending, event influencing is for you. Event influencers are usually hired to either get people to show up to an event (often with a code that offers extra perks) or to document an event and get user engagement. Specify your follower count on each platform and mention what your feed is best known for (nightlife, food, beauty, fashion, etc.). Screenshot a few of your best performing influencer posts on each platform and specify your role in each.
If you’re an aspiring producer, moonlighting agent’s assistant or entrepreneur, be sure to mention it. If you have any extra kind of special interest like wedding decor, theme parties, kid’s events or LGBTQ, your passion will help you to match up to the right event.
Your photo will do most of the talking, but this is also a really great place to mention the other stuff that makes you unique. Acrobatics, a costume collection or dance skills are immediately relevant for parties looking to hire, but skills like improv training, acting classes or speaking another language will help you and the client find each other.