In the wake of the digital revolution, the gig economy has diversified far beyond the confines of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft and food delivery app like DoorDash, expanding its reach to a variety of different industries such as delivery, creative services, and home care. 

On Skillshare, you can create and film your own classes, reaching a broader audience of students and professionals for any field. Need the occasional or ongoing babysitter? Consult Busy Bees Babysitting, an app that connects users with reliable and experienced childcare professionals. Looking for a platform to showcase your art while earning income? Explore Dribble, a social networking platform that enables designers to freelance and discover clients through job boards.  

While gig diversification has expanded boundaries and reached new heights, diversification and innovation also reveal distinct challenges that accompany working in the gig economy.

Gig Gridlock: Networking Isolation

While many gig workers appreciate the flexibility and autonomy that comes with their roles, it is crucial to recognize that gig workers frequently face the challenges of income instability, as jobs are project-based or contingent on demand. 

On platforms such as DoorDash, dashers operate within their available time slots, competing with fellow dashers for work opportunities. DoorDash’s algorithm calculates demand for a given day, time period, and geographic area, meaning that you are less likely to work if the time slot generates less demand. 

In turn, the gig economy perpetuates income disparities, meaning some workers earn substantial incomes while others struggle to make ends meet.

Individuals who work more productively with consistent scheduling like the traditional 9-5 may struggle to find motivation to work when faced with the flexibility of varying work schedules. Work structures like this can cultivate feelings of isolation and loneliness, as gig workers miss out on the camaraderie and networking opportunities found in traditional workplaces. 

While the water cooler talk can be awkward, you may find yourself missing it after switching from traditional to gig!

Flex Skill, Launch, Thrive

Thriving in autonomy and flexibility, gig workers can shape and schedule projects/gigs that match their skills and interests. Individuals looking for an outlet to creatively express themselves can select projects that align with their skills and interests.

Artists can choose what prompts they would like to paint and breathe life into. Language translators can choose what industry they would like to work for, whether that be hospitals or courtrooms.

This independence can foster a diverse skill development for gig workers “gigging” across industries, paving the way for entrepreneurial ventures. With the development of new apps and gig platforms, gig workers can even attain global reach to access more clients and opportunities worldwide.

Ultimately, your working style dictates your success in the gig economy. If the benefits resonate more with you than the challenges, the gig economy may be a suitable place for you!


Article by
Zoe Maung
Content Writer and Researcher

A young asian woman with long hair wearing a dark blazer with white shirt.