Flexibility in Your Next Career
For years, you worked in the same industry, happily clocking into the office each and every day. But now, things are different. While you would still like to keep working, you’re looking for a little more flexibility—and a lot more work-life balance—in your life.
That’s where a flexible job comes into play. A job that offers a flexible schedule can help you gain control over your life as well as your transition to a completely new career. That way, you can continue earning a paycheck but still have the time you want for other more personal pursuits, in particular, spending time with your family.
Fortunately, flex comes in various forms. For example, you could work a full-time remote job, in which you would work a typical 40-hour workweek, but from the comfort of your home office (i.e., no more commuting!). Perhaps you would like to work a full-time schedule, but you don’t want to work every day. In that case, a compressed work week could be a fit for you. In a compressed workweek, you might work in an office from Monday-Thursday, but work extra hours during those four days, leaving your Fridays free!
If you want to decrease the number of hours that you work, you could also find a part-time telecommuting job. In that scenario, you might work upwards of 25+ hours weekly, but not have to go into a traditional office. But if you’re looking to slowly dip your toes into your new career field, freelance might be the best option for you. As a freelancer, you get to choose when you work, who you work with, and how you work. You can score a permanent freelance job or have a variety of clients that you work for. Freelance work (i.e., being an independent contractor) allows you to truly work when you want to.
With so many options in flexible work, it can be hard to pinpoint which type of flex is best for your situation. So you’ll need to consider the following factors in determining what type of work flexibility will, well, work for you!
Determine how much money you need to make monthly in order to have the life you want to live. The amount you need to earn each month will ultimately factor into which type of flex work you’ll look for.
Let’s say that you’re caring for a family member, or are a proud part-time babysitter to your grandchildren. You may need more (or less) free time to be with your loved ones and take care of your family commitments. As such, you’ll need to scale back (or ramp up) the number of hours that you’re able to work.
If your calendar has one doctor’s appointment after another on it, finding a freelance job that pays the bills (but also lets you completely customize your schedule) will be an important factor in finding your flex.
Your Career Goals
Let’s say that for the majority of your career, you were a tax accountant. Now, you’re switching careers in order to become a world-class baker. It’s uber important to decide why you’re switching careers and how much time you want to dedicate to it. If you want to focus on this new career and are willing to work really hard at excelling at it, then finding a full-time telecommuting job would work for you. If your new career is more of a passion project that you want to dabble in once in a while, you might look into part-time work to slowly immerse yourself into this new career and make the transition easier.
Now that you’ve determined what kind of flexible schedule job you’d like to have and identified the factors that went in to making that decision, it’s time to find a flexible job! The best way to land a job with work flexibility is to look for companies that are known to have flexible policies. You can find out this info from looking at a company’s website or even calling its HR department. And when you’re looking at job descriptions, you should look out for words such as “telecommuting,” “remote job,” or “virtual position.” But be careful of job postings that use words like “work from home” or “work at home” as they might be job scams.
It’s exciting to start a new career, no matter what your age. And by having a flexible position, you can work in the career that you were meant for, and do it all on your terms.
This post was written by Jennifer Parris, career writer at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Jennifer provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.
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