How Does the Gig Economy Contribute to Burnout?

In a gig economy full of entrepreneurial spirits, Uber Drivers, and Skip The Dishes, it’s estimated that 1.3 million people are working two jobs or more. Many of these workers grow used to splitting their time such as a barista who is also a blogger or a social media manager who is also a Lyft driver. However, working multiple jobs like this offers tons of pros and cons. 


  • Flexible hours
  • More freedom
  • Work-from-wherever mentality
  • Fallback plan if a full-time job doesn’t work out
  • Fulfill different interests


  • Feel the need to prove self-worth and validate the work you do 
  • Working too many hours
  • Working erratic hours
  • Always being “on”
  • No regular salary or benefit plan

As demonstrated, the gig economy provides good and bad qualities, but does the gig economy directly contribute to burnout? While some workers agree that the benefits of working within the gig economy outweigh the negatives, many people would probably say yes. 

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How the Gig Economy Contributes to Burnout

When you have multiple jobs to fulfill different interests (and pay the bills), you tend to work more than you should. Sometimes your work hours are all over the place because a client needs to connect with you at midnight. And, because you don’t have a regular salary, you feel the need to work harder to prove to the people who hire you that you are worthy of their time and money. There’s a hunger to constantly prove yourself and validate the work you doespecially if you work from homebecause those around you don’t always view it as a real job. All of this can lead to burnout. 

According to a 2018 Gallup study, millennial workers seem to be at the core of this issue. Millennial workers reportedly have higher expectations of themselves than most older generations. Coupling these expectations with anxiety, social media, and a really strong work ethic can put a strain on mental and physical health. Please keep in mind that not all millennials are struggling. However, millennials working in the gig economy tend to sit at a higher risk of burnout.

The World Health Organization (WHO) finally added burnout to its list of recognized health conditions. They describe it as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Not only is burnout connected to your job but it can also be connected to your financial decisions. In addition, your job stress and financial stress can feed off of one another.

How Does Burnout Affect Financial Decisions?

When you’re stressed or overworked, it often feels convenient to order food rather than prepare it yourself. Therefore, you end up spending more money on something you can make much cheaper at home. Moreover, it’s common to find ways to reward and treat yourself to feel better about all of the stress you’re feeling. Spending this extra money can contribute towards debt you may be trying to pay off by working in the gig economy, which then leads you to work more to pay off these new purchases.

In the end, the gig economy is not necessarily at fault for burnout. However, the conditions in which some people choose to work can often lead them towards burnout. Continue reading The Art Of Resting And Recovering To Avoid Burnout.

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