The Other Side of the Gig Economy

The Other Side of the Gig Economy

It is undeniable that the way we look at employment is rapidly changing. Increasingly, people are choosing to live their life in the gig economy. Many participate to supplement their current incomes – maybe they want to maximize their earning potential outside of their jobs – or they are trying to make some money while they start their own business. It’s a low risk way to make some money on the side. Others, are choosing it as a permanent lifestyle – it can pay more than some traditional employers and offer a new level of freedom. With its benefits, comes serious considerations. Here are a few things to consider before making the jump:

It’s All about Hustle

The gig economy favors those who want to work hard. Much like a business owner, how much you can earn is a direct reflection of how much you work. This can be freeing for those who receive the same salary even if they have an especially hard few months. But the downside is a function of the same principle, you only get what you work for. In traditional employment, your salary is the same even during a slow month.

Traditional Benefits Are Hard to come by

Unless you have a spouse who has healthcare, you will have to pay out of pocket to get it. Paid leave is non-existent. The New Yorker detailed a story about a Lyft driver who was nine months pregnant and went into labor while on the clock. She was still in driver mode at the time and even received a driver request on her way there.


As the gig economy becomes more popular, the amount of people enjoying its benefits increases. Where there was one Uber driver in an area, there are now ten who are fighting for the same passenger.

Even with these risks, the gig economy is appealing to many, especially millennials. Why? A recent report from Harvard Business School sums it up:

“Unshackled from managers and corporate norms, people can choose assignments that make the most of their talents and reflect their true interests. They feel ownership over what they produce and over their entire professional lives…The price of such freedom is a precariousness that seems not to subside over time.”

About the author

Angela Yu is a New Jersey and New York attorney with a multifaceted practice area focusing in corporate, real estate and general contract law. Ms. Yu is a published legal author and holds a J.D. and M.B.A. from Rutgers School of Law and Rutgers Business School.

Angela Yu does not provide legal advice on this website. This blog post and any blog posts authored by Angela Yu do not constitute legal advice.

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