Patchwork – a patchwork, where individual elements form a whole.
We humans are also complex personalities with diverse interests and often multiple pillars – family, career, hobbies. Our world is changing – rapidly and on a daily basis – and we are doing the same. Our careers have long since ceased to be linear, with a clear thread running through them, but are now made up of individual stages. Shorter working contracts, different employers and different specialist areas, industries or even professions – that’s 2021.
What are the downsides of a Patchwork career?
Experts advise changing jobs after 7 years and viewing it as an opportunity rather than a risk. But what if you take on a new challenge after just two or three years?
It is precisely this that is often the downfall of so-called “job hoppers”. A lack of depth in specialist knowledge, a lack of leadership experience and few measurable or demonstrable successes are often the reasons for rejection. Applicants with such resumes are still often called aimless and without a plan and are quickly sorted out in an application process. Recruiters seem to think that the risk is too high that the persons could leave the company again soon and thus represent an expensive miscast. Therefore, more explanation is needed for the gaps, changes and terminations.
In addition, these make it difficult to achieve professional and private goals, as the financial situation changes often and quickly and a certain continuity and predictability are missing.
But what really lies behind Patchwork careers?
Changing jobs, dropping out of university, reorientations, travel breaks, founding startups, parental leave, fixed-term contracts – a “mosaic career” is characterized by a high degree of uniqueness. They are people with a particularly wide range of interests and talents.
Due to the many individual stages in their professional lives, patchworkers have interdisciplinary skills and a high degree of flexibility. Their wealth of experience enables them to think outside the box and better understand connections between departments or entire industries. Each new job also demands renewed teamwork, conflict management and adaptability skills, thereby expanding their social competencies. The “soft skills” of patchworkers extend beyond the learned professional competence and prove themselves for life.
It becomes clear that patchwork resumes are no longer something to be ashamed of. It shows self-assessment and courage. Through the insight and activity in different work relationships, clear ideas of one’s own professional life develop.