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How to be happily employed in a tough economy

Dr Kristin Cardinale is the author of The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life. She is a serial entrepreneur, seminar speaker, career coach and columnist. Connect with her online at www.kristincardinale.com or follo...

Job security in a tough economy

Times are tough -- that’s what I keep hearing. However, in my line of work, business is booming and I am quite happily living the life of my dreams. Several years ago after my national seminar business got clobbered by a corporate giant and I was sitting on the couch with a newborn baby in my arms, I decided that it was time to reinvent my life – and that’s just what I did! Here’s how you, too, can be happily employed in a tough economy.

Happy business woman

Patchworking: Rethinking the 9-to-5

Through trial and error I developed a career strategy that I believe is revolutionary and absolutely applicable to anyone willing to rethink the traditional nine-to-five model of employment. I call this career strategy patchworking, which is a new, very selective form of freelancing. Now, in this economy you might think that being selective is crazy, but the fact is, happiness is the new currency in today's job market.

Employees are expendable

Massive unemployment has made it clear to millions of former employees that they are expendable. This has prompted a new awakening to the fact that a nine-to-five job does not provide the infallible job security once associated with it. As a direct result of these recent events, people are demanding more personal satisfaction from their career and searching for security.

Being selective can equal job security

That's where patchworking comes in. Patchworkers selectively accept small jobs based on lifestyle factors that matter to them (e.g. family, flexibility), then build a career based on an array of part-time, short-term freelance work and consultancies working for multiple employers. This not only allows the patchworker to sample a variety of assignments but also insulates them from sudden and total job loss. Simply put, it is a career lifestyle that is flexible, interesting and secure.

Patchworkers are assets for many companies

Patchworkers are a new kind of employee working quite differently from the traditional freelancer. First, quality of life, also dubbed "lifestyle design," is paramount. Second and perhaps most notable, patchworking is the art and science of fishing for new, mostly unadvertised leads and pitching those to prospective employers. The competition in these situations is practically non-existent and the odds of landing the work are in favor of the person pitching the solution. Patchworkers offer potential employers an immediate and practical solution to existing problems, or present new ideas and an implementation plan. Patchworkers are people with great ideas, equipped with the skills to implement them.

If you're wondering what the demand is like for patchworkers in today's struggling economy, the outlook is marvelous and trending toward an even stronger future, as various studies forecast how many part-time, temporary and freelance positions will be available over the next 10 years. Escape the rat race and live the life of your dreams with this new formula for being happily employed in a tough economy.

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