A lack of career flexibility can lead to limited job opportunities, a salary cap, and even a poor work-life balance. If you want to determine your future, care for your personal obligations, and ensure there are no limits to your success, you must look for a position that can adapt to your wants and needs.
To place your future in your hands, read these top tips on how to enjoy more flexibility in your career.
Choose a Laidback Industry
Some industries will be more laidback than others. For example, you are more likely to pick your own work schedule when working in media, while banking might have stricter schedules for their employees to follow.
Unfortunately, a lack of flexibility might not be ideal if you are raising children or have personal obligations, such as caring for a loved one. If you are ready to change careers due to poor flexibility at work, browse the market for industries that offer a more relaxed and flexible pace.
Pick a Course with Many Career Paths
There are some degrees and qualifications that can restrict professionals to one or two careers, which can limit their ambition, work-life balance, and earning potential. If you want to enter a field that offers no ceiling for your salary or growth, you must find a course that provides its students with many career paths.
For example, you could enroll in an online masters in data science, which you can earn 100% online over 15 weeks. Once you have earned the respected degree, you can choose from different career paths, such as:
· Computer scientist
· Data analyst
· Machine learning engineer
· Artificial intelligence research scientist
· Cloud engineer
It could, therefore, be the key to career flexibility, advancement, and a fantastic annual salary.
Become a Freelancer
If you love the idea of setting your working hours, working at a time and pace that suits your lifestyle, and taking control of your earning potential, you could enjoy a career as a freelancer.
Many employers are often looking for talented, experienced professionals to hire on a contract or per-project basis. However, you must have exceptional focus and a hard work ethic to flourish in the role, as you must find clients, beat procrastination, and maintain a high standard of work.
Request Flexible Working Hours
If your current job provides strict, full-time working hours, ask your boss if they would be willing to provide greater flexibility. For example, you could negotiate for a different start and end time or to work condensed hours each week.
Provide your employer with a genuine reason why you would like flexible working hours, such as taking your children to school, studying towards an industry degree, or working when you feel most productive. For example, a web developer might prefer to work on a project at night.
If you are a talented, valued member of the team, your boss might be willing to accept your request to ensure you aren’t tempted to find a job elsewhere.
Find a Flexible Employer
If your employer rejects your request for more flexible working hours, you could always look for a job elsewhere. Take the time to research different companies in your industry that allow their employees to work at a time that suits their needs. If a job vacancy doesn’t advertise flexible working hours, you could negotiate it with the hiring manager before you accept the job.
If your current role doesn’t allow you to work from home, you could either ask your employer if you can work from home so many days per week or find a telecommuting role. It will allow you to work at any location with an internet connection, such as a home office or a co-working space. It’s a great way to skip a long commute, which will provide more time to spend with your family or improving your skills.
If money isn’t a problem and you have a demanding personal life, consider a part-time career. Slashing your working hours will free up time to raise your children, care for a loved one, or to work towards a goal, such as earning a diploma for a bigger and better career. Ask your boss if this is a possibility, as they might be willing to reduce your hours to retain your skills and experience.
Start a Business
If you’re tired of an employer dictating the hours you work and the daily tasks you must complete, consider starting a business. If you have extensive industry knowledge and experience, you could enjoy greater job satisfaction by running your own company.
While launching a business might not allow you to decrease your working hours, it could help you to choose when and where you work each day. It could be the key to an improved work-life balance and a brighter future for you and your family.
Take a Sabbatical
A sabbatical will provide an employee with an extended break from their job. An employer will determine the time length, and it can provide an opportunity to take a step back from a role. It is an ideal option for those who need to focus on family issues or want to achieve a professional goal. It is typically longer than annual leave and can vary from two months to one year.
The career break is commonly unpaid, but some employers might be willing to provide paid sabbaticals. You could use the time away from a role to learn a new skill, travel, restore your mental health, or to tend to a personal responsibility.
If you’re unhappy in your current role, it could stem from a poor work-life balance or limited career prospects that don’t match your ambition. You can, however, transform your working life and shape your salary by looking for ways to increase your career flexibility.
For example, you could choose a laidback industry, pick a career that offers multiple paths to suit your needs, or you could even start your own business. You also could talk to your employer about telecommuting opportunities, part-time options, and flexible working hours.