Patchworking: A Recession-Proof Employment Strategy

Patchworking Citizens of the world watch with trepidation as European finance ministers and the IMF race to create a bailout program for Greece in order to prevent a default that could trigger a worldwide recession. It is yet another sprint to evade another economic downturn.

The recession routine is lowering our standards in many ways, especially as it relates to our careers. We settle for less money and job satisfaction while also putting up with greater demands and increased levels of anxiety about layoffs, retirement and our lackluster portfolios. Recession holds us hostage at our desks.

While the outlook may appear gloomy for 9-to-5ers, it's all but recession-proof for Patchworkers. This specialized segment of the freelance industry is increasing its numbers as awareness rises about a bulletproof business model that nicely pairs with the lure of lifestyle by design.

The business model of "Patchworking" is founded on three principles:

  • enjoyable work in abundance
  • diversification
  • momentum

Enjoyable work in abundance means seeking out multiple, simultaneous part-time, short-term gigs, projects and consultancies that align with tasks you enjoy. The key is small jobs -- available in great numbers in this fragmented hiring environment -- which allow you to maintain a flexible schedule. That flexibility helps maximize the number of opportunities you can patch together on your calendar and allows you to respond as new, urgent opportunities surface.

For the model to be truly recession-proof, it must be diversified -- with work from multiple employers across multiple industries, at any given time. These positions may or may not all draw upon the same skill-set, but when they do it allows for an exponential increase in the possibilities that exist for you in the marketplace.

As leads turn into bona fide employment opportunities, momentum begins to build when new projects or ongoing gigs within the same organizations surface, or referrals blossom. Over time, this momentum sustains the Patchworking career model and allows for the kind of selectivity that a 9-to-5 employee can only dream of in this just-be-glad-you-have-a-job environment.

Ultimately, it is this ability to accept work selectively that allows you to create a customized schedule reflecting your professional and personal priorities, such as autonomy, creativity, etc. The end result is a thriving, recession-proof career that flexes around what matters most to you, both on the job and in your personal life.

With Patchworking you can be abundantly and happily employed, even in an era of routine recession.

Next: Companies Now Hiring

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This is what many of my colleagues in teaching are doing right now. With the massive amounts of excessing going on in the field of education, many are piecing together substitute teaching with leave replacement and tutoring opportunities. Even though the F/T teaching job seems elusive right now, these teachers are still able to carry on their love of teaching by spreading it across different types of jobs.

August 13 2012 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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October 11 2011 at 4:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In theory, this sounds great. But in reality, would it truly provide the income and benefits that most employees seek? I would consider this model in my near retirement phase.

August 13 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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