If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that life is short, and there are alternative ways to work to increase your quality of life. Many people took the opportunity to find real freedom in their career, quitting the rat race and finding a job that works for them. For many years in previous generations, finding a job for life with a single employer was the ideal goal as this provided a level of security and stability. However, the social and economic landscape is changing, and while a traditional job may suit some, many are unsatisfied with their role, with a study revealing that only around 50% of working people are satisfied with their work. Advancements in digital technology give you more opportunity to work where you are, and while it can be intimidating, taking the leap and embarking on the journey to career freedom can be the most rewarding decision that you ever make.
The Future Can Be Flexible
Today, more people than ever are choosing to be self-employed, get involved in the gig economy, or simply changing to a more flexible way of working, allowing them to work to their own terms. This shift in attitudes towards working is about more than just a pay check and a 9 to 5 job; it is about increasing your quality of life and creating a better career life balance.
When it comes to working for an employer, there is no longer a strong expectation that you have to work from the office and adhere to strict hours. Instead, flexible working is more accepted, whether that be working from home or setting your own hours. Studies have shown, in fact, that in some countries, only 6% of workers work a traditional 9-5 office hour shift. This has benefits for both employees and employers. For example, in choosing their own hours, employees can manage their time better and work around their other commitments, such as family responsibilities.
Additionally, employees do not have to worry about laborious, expensive commutes. Employers also do not have to rent as much expensive central office space and see better productivity levels from their staff as they are happier with their working conditions. Businesses can also attract better candidates for roles if the working conditions and hours are flexible, benefiting the company in the long run.
Getting on Board with the Gig Economy
A gig economy refers to work that is not a permanent job with a company but is instead freelance work or many short-term contracts, and this type of work has become far more common in recent years. In fact, nearly 40% of some workforces are now made up of those working within the gig economy, either full time or part-time. While some people think of gig economy roles as just being delivery services or Uber drivers, there is much more to this type of work than first meets the eye.
The development of digital technology and the popularity of video calling platforms such as Zoom, cloud-based programmes and storage such as Microsoft OneDrive and Teams, and freelancing platforms such as Fiverr has led to a boom in people creating their own opportunities and finding freedom within their work. Nowadays, you can be working for a client who lives on the opposite side of the world as the distance is becoming irrelevant. Therefore, working within the gig economy can be a flexible option as you can choose when to accept more work and when to reduce your hours – giving you far more freedom than a 9-5 contract. In addition, working within this platform enables you to set your own goals – whether that be obtaining financial independence, working from anywhere in the world, meaning that you can travel more, or being able to spend more time with your family.
Freelancing can also allow you to harness your talents and passions, meaning that you are more likely to enjoy the work that you do. In addition, this will enable you to have more ownership over your work and schedule without having to follow managers or corporate instructions.
Being successful within the freelancing realm depends on a number of factors, including your ability to find clients. If you are making the more to a freelancing position in a field similar to your current work, you may be able to use your existing contacts. Alternatively, beginning on freelancing platforms where you can advertise your services and clients can order immediately will help build up a solid client base. Your adverts should include an identification of client’s problems and information on how your services can be the solution.
One of the challenges with being self-employed is setting your schedule, as some can find it challenging to meet all their deadlines. It is therefore important to stay organised, carving out specific work time around your commitments. The more you do this, the easier it becomes, and eventually, you will be an expert at managing your time flexible, giving you the freedom to live your life to the fullest. When it comes to the gig economy, each individual gig is usually smaller than a traditional work task, meaning it is easier to complete these around your schedule. There are also a number of productivity tools and software available on the market for free or for a small cost which can help refine your practice, allowing you to make a move to a non 9 to 5 job.
If you are looking to escape the rat race of a traditional working environment, allowing more flexibility and freedom within your schedule, now is the time to take a leap of faith. The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way in which the world works, with more people working from home or setting up their own businesses, and this trend is set to continue. Digital working today allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours and schedule and live your own life. So, what are you waiting for? Transform your working life today.