Today’s Obsession: Without A Net

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Image from Flickr member Evil Erin,

This is an interesting piece at the Atlantic; the author describes responses to her declarations of going solo. In metro areas, the response is very positive, a “awesome, you’re doing your own thing!” sentiment. In smaller towns, not so much. The response is closer to “are you nuts?” curious to see responses from different communities at different sizes. I remember when I was first working on my own, it took a long time to adjust myself to the idea that I was probably not going to ever have another job—my family is one of teachers, factory workers, and craftsmen—all union.

This is part of an interesting series The Atlantic is doing on the changing nature of work in the U.S. One of the more jolting aspects from another article: the freelance work pool jumped 27% in the decade from 1995-2005. The Chicago Fed found that this accounted for two thirds of job growth in New York. That’s a scary number, folks, and one that makes the future look pretty cold to those of us still expecting health insurance, nine-to-five work hours, weekends, and… stability. That sounds an awful lot like a return to the nineteenth century, when companies bullied everyone else into playing by their rules.