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5 Ugly Truths About Being a Gig Worker

Being a gig worker comes with a number of advantages that you can't get with a traditional full-time job, including independence, flexibility and the ability to be your own boss. But, as with any job, there are downsides to the freelance life.

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Zety surveyed over 900 people about the pros and cons of the gig worker experience, and found that there are some major gripes among this population. Here are some of the ugly truths that come with being a gig worker.

FluxFactory / Getty Images
FluxFactory / Getty Images

You Don't Get Employee Benefits

The No. 1 disadvantage of being a gig worker is the lack of employee benefits -- 39% of those surveyed said this was a major downside of not having a full-time gig.


While some employers will extend benefits to gig workers, many do not -- a recent study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 81% of workers in traditional employment arrangements had access to employer-sponsored health insurance versus 55% of workers with nonstandard jobs. And health insurance can be a major expense -- the average monthly premium for individual coverage is $484, according to eHealth.

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Benoit Daoust /
Benoit Daoust /

You May Work Irregular Hours

Depending on the type of gig work you do, you may have to work a lot of nights and weekends. This is especially true for food delivery and ride-share drivers. This was another top complaint among gig workers, with 37% of those surveyed by Zety citing this as a disadvantage.

svetikd / Getty Images
svetikd / Getty Images

You Don't Have a Reliable, Steady Income

As a gig worker, you only get paid for the jobs you get and the hours you work, which can vary based on availability. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed by Zety said unstable income is a downside of gig work, and in addition, 25% said that the stress caused by the uncertainty was also a downside.

svetikd / Getty Images
svetikd / Getty Images

You Don't Get Days Off

When you don't work, you don't get paid, which means that paid vacation and sick days just aren't a thing for gig workers. Over one-fifth (22%) of those surveyed by Zety said that having no days off or sick days was a drawback of being a gig worker.

cofotoisme / Getty Images/iStockphoto
cofotoisme / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It Can Be Hard To Find Work-Life Balance

Fourteen percent of those surveyed said that bad work-life balance is a downside of gig work. It can be hard to turn off completely or keep set hours when your next payday depends on your working. And even when you're not working, you may be spending your off time looking for your next gig.

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This article originally appeared on 5 Ugly Truths About Being a Gig Worker