The gig economy is getting bigger. Whether you’re working as a makeup artist, using a rideshare or food delivery app in your spare time, or trying to have a full career as a freelance writer, many people are exploring the benefits that the new working model offers.
Get to know some of the pros and cons of the gig economy so you can decide if it’s something you want to pursue or not.
Gig Economy Pros
Working in the gig economy has a lot of draws. Some of the big ones are flexibility and independence. Workers can choose what they want to do, what hours they’re interested in working, and when they want to take a break.
Many parents love the gig economy because they can time things around their children’s schedules. Gig jobs also may offer the flexibility of working from home more than a traditional job would.
These workers don’t have a boss looming over their shoulders, dictating how or when work should happen. They may also have more flexibility to determine what they will get paid. People can also avoid aspects of office culture they don’t like or skip particular tasks they don’t enjoy as much and focus on the parts of their skills that they do enjoy.
The gig economy also lets people pursue their passions. For example, musicians and artists are able to do what they love, perhaps even as a side gig to a more traditional career, and make additional money when they might not be able to find a traditional full-time job doing what they love.
Gig Economy Cons
One of the big cons is finances. If you’re working for yourself and offering a particular skill, such as SEO work, you may be able to determine your prices. However, if you work for a rideshare app, you don’t have any say in how much you get paid.
Plus, finances get harder because gig jobs don’t have essential benefits like health insurance or retirement savings, so workers need to pull money out of their earnings for those expenses unless they have a spouse or parent helping to foot the bill.
Taxes can also make finances difficult. Gig workers have more complicated taxes than workers with a simple W2 do, and most will eventually need to pay quarterly taxes.
Gig workers might also have a harder time learning new skills. They don’t have the mentoring and collaboration that they might get in a more traditional workplace.
A huge con is also the lack of a safety net. Gigs may come and go, and a slump without a large savings account and health insurance can be hard to handle, especially if the worker needs to support a family. Similarly, some people don’t like the isolation and lack of work relationships doing gig work.
The gig economy can be a perfect solution for some people and difficult and frustrating for others. By examining the pros and cons, you can determine if it’s for you.