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“It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.”


“Work to me is providing in a way that is self-fulfilling, because I feel that there’s a lot of work out there that people do just because they fall into it and there are no other opportunities. But I feel like work needs to fulfill yourself.”

Dave Alatorre started playing guitar when he was 17 and he never looked back, getting a degree in audio engineering with dreams of making a living as a musician. He couldn’t find a job in his field, but, still devoted to music, he needed flexible hours to allow him to rehearse and tour with his band. Like nearly a million people nationwide, Dave turned to the “gig economy” (or, the “sharing economy”) to make a living. He takes on small jobs like building Ikea furniture for TaskRabbit, doing grocery shopping and delivery with Instacart, and driving for companies like Lyft and Uber. “It’s something new every day. So I’m not stuck in an office or I’m not stuck in my car. I get to meet new people and try new things every day.”

The gig economy gives Dave the time to pursue his musical passions, but the work is often inconsistent. Dave and his wife are saving to buy a condo, managing a huge student loan debt, and paying high rent for their small apartment. While he strives to make between $100 and $200 a day, budgeting can be difficult in San Francisco with notoriously high living and housing expenses. Despite these hurdles, Dave is sure of the path he’s chosen: “I probably would be pretty miserable doing some office job or delivery job having somebody looking over my shoulder all of the time. I like being my own boss, and I’m glad that this has given me the opportunity to do so.”