A Response to Tina Brown’s “The Gig Economy”

In a popular blog post at The Daily Beast, Tina Brown debunks the idea that free agency is an idyllic lifestyle of “freedom” and “variety.”

While her points about the stress and uncertainty of this way of working are well-taken, she overlooks one reality: for many people, “gigging”, much like old age, is better than the alternative. Thousands of articles, books, and blog posts appear each year about people’s desire for more flexibility, the choice to trade a little money for a little time, and an entrepreneurial movement driven less by a desire to get rich than by resolve to get away from “the office.”

Some of the happiest people I know are people who manage to float in and out of “permanent” (hah!) jobs, a cycle of taking haven from the gig grind with an occasional full-time position that lets them amass some cash and reset the COBRA clock, and then returning (refreshed) to self-employment. Other shiny, happy people? Those who have managed to land long-term jobs that don’t suck and those who have cracked the code on small business with minimal employees. Miserable, gainfully employed people are legion.

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