Since my previous employer (of 14 years, but really, who is counting?) decided to liberate me from my hard-won desk some 18 months ago, I have struggled when confronted with the "OCCUPATION _________" found on so many forms, online and otherwise. I do a bit of this and a bit of that...I'm an IT consultant for X, now for Y. I'm an aspiring (or emerging, as I like to write...it sounds so...up-and-comingesque) fine-art photographer, but would clearly deign to do a wedding or two (but no children or other people's pets, please). I also volunteer and contribute intellectual time to non-profits (meaning, if they weren't NPOs I'd expect some money). In between all this activity, I do a little yard work and perhaps soon, some house cleaning. So, do I have a career anymore? Are careers passé? Tina Brown of the Daily Beast thinks perhaps so...http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-01-12/the-gig-economy/full/.
On a personal level, I'm enjoying the new lifestyle, if not the feast/famine of billable time. There is an appearance of high risk if one plays in this gig economy. Where is the next job going to come from? When am I going to sell another framed print? But gainful full-time employment only seems risk-free. An illusion of course. In an employ-at-will job market, the axe can come at any time, for any reason. No surprises now...I know what I'm in for.