Are you dying to break out of the commute–cubicle–commute cycle? Tired of doing work that puts food on the table but doesn't feed your soul? Sick of being stuck with a schedule that's all work and no play?
Don't give up hope! You're not doomed to suffer through your career and spend your retirement too exhausted to enjoy it. The key to getting a job that lets you make the money you need but also have the life you want is to find some flexibility.
To get that freedom you're craving, try switching up the where, what, and when of your work with these flexible working options:
If you want to choose your surroundings or if jobs in your field aren't available where you live, working remotely will give you the option of where you work. You can take part in a meeting with colleagues around the world from your kitchen table or manage a project from your living room sofa. Not being tied to a certain location can also make it possible to adapt to special living situations or just finally pack up and move abroad like you’ve always dreamed of doing.
Take It Freelance
If you want to choose the jobs you do or the clients you serve, going freelance will let you decide what you work on. You can be your own boss which means you'll be the one making the decisions about the type of tasks you're doing and whom you're doing them for. This means you could pursue a cause you’re passionate about or pick clients you click with without having to sacrifice earning a living you can live on.
Stay Part-time or Project-based
If you want to choose how long you spend working, reduced hours or project-based jobs will help you limit how long you work. You can work half-days or have shorter weeks, or you can take temporary work that lets you decide how many weeks or months you spend on each job. Cutting back on hours will give you more time for side projects, hobbies, or friends and family. And keeping commitments to a certain length gives you the possibility to pursue new work on a regular basis.
If this kind of flexible freedom has you excited about your career again, there’s a clear next step to make one (or all three!) of these working options your everyday reality: Try tech!
That's right. Having digital prowess can be your key to open the doors to deciding the where, what, and when of your working life. Having tech savvy lets you go from limited choices to (almost) limitless ones, and you don't need to spend years learning complex programming languages to get the knowledge you need.
Get to Know the Tech Tools
To be able to do you work from any location nowadays, you'll need to be online. So, beyond the basics of email and the Internet, you need to get comfortable collaborating using cloud services like Google Docs or DropBox for document creation and file management or even version control tools like Git and GitHub.
Learn the Tech Skills
Then, you should beef up on the basics of image editing and design by learning the basics of Photoshop for modifying photos and graphics for digital media, learn a bit of HTML and CSS for creating and maintaining websites and email newsletters from anywhere, and get some experience with content management systems like WordPress for offering up online media like blog posts, videos, and photos to the world.
Master Tech Time Management
Finally, combine these fundamental tech skills with time management tools like task managers to keep yourself organized when you're working independently, project management software to coordinate with teams on different schedules, and group text chat and video conferencing to communicate with both co-workers and clients, wherever they are and whenever you need to be in touch with them.
The end result will be a set of resources you can harness to get you remote, freelance, or part-time or project-based work — a powerful combination will mean you can keep earning a living but also have a life.
Adda Birnir is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.