Working a traditional 9 to 5 isn’t for everyone, and if you’re looking for a flexible schedule, there are plenty of careers out there to consider. Especially as times change and work-life balance becomes more important throughout the world, the availability of flexible schedules has increased, much to career seekers’ satisfaction.
As a side note, you still need to ensure that you love what you do, so be sure to seek out job opportunities that lend well to the career that you have been looking for and don’t just settle for the first job that comes your way with a bit of flexibility.
With that all being said, most major fields now offer flexible schedules, so don’t be afraid to do some digging in your desired field and find a company that has a strong work-life balance.
In an effort to get you started on this hunt, here are ten jobs to consider if you want a flexible schedule.
1. Remote Position
There are many different careers that offer remote positions (or, at the very least, remote flexibility) which is a total game-changer when it comes to setting your own hours. This not only allows you to set a schedule that works for you, but you can also avoid traffic, get things done around the house and accomplish your daily to-do list at work, all in the comfort of your own home.
Some things to keep in mind when considering this type of position, however, are that just because you work from home doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t on someone’s schedule. Depending on the position, it’s possible that you’ll still need to work your company’s core hours.
In addition, you should keep in mind that some individuals find it very difficult to focus on work when they’re at home, and therefore don’t end up getting a lot of work done. In these cases, you may fall flat on any metrics/assignments that need to be completed, so you should keep that in mind as well.
Journalism spans a wide variety of career options, inclusive of copyediting and writing. In most cases, these positions can be taken on freelance, meaning you set your own hours and work at your own pace a majority of the time.
If this is a path you choose, you should keep in mind that freelance employees are not salaried, and therefore don’t have access to benefits that a traditional, full-time, salaried position would offer. With that in mind, some people prefer this route and pick up their own benefits elsewhere, which is very doable.
There are also full-time writing/editing positions that offer a lot of flexibility, including work from home opportunities, ability to set your own schedule and a salary with benefits, so don’t close yourself off to those possibilities should they arise.
Basically, if you’re passionate about journalism (in whichever capacity), there are so many options that are available to you regarding flexibility that it’s a great career to dive into!
There are a lot of benefits to becoming a cosmetologist, flexibility being one of the many. Cosmetologists can complete a certificate program rather quickly and dive right into their careers, subsiding on their salary plus tips. While for many, this isn’t sustainable, for others, it is not only sustainable but also a passion.
If you find yourself in the latter category, cosmetology is perfect for flexibility! Cosmetologists set their own schedules (though you may need to work some undesirable shifts when you first get started at a new salon) and you can even choose to work in a salon or freelance on your own.
Again, freelancers will need to pick up their own benefits, but for many, that’s a better alternative to working according to a salon’s schedule. Just know that you’ll likely need to build out your clientele in a well-known salon prior to working on your own, just to ensure you always have plenty of clients coming in the door.
In addition, cosmetologists have additional certifications (such as makeup, blowout treatments, etc.) they can get to boost their credentials and build out their clientele, keeping their job interesting and fresh while continuously bringing in new clients looking for fun and unique things.
4. Business Owner
Being a business owner is no small feat, but when it comes down to it, they have the most flexibility in terms of work-life balance. Business owners need to put a lot of work in to get where they are, between degrees and hard work in construction, marketing and sales, but once they have achieved their goals, they’re the boss.
As a quick disclaimer, know that business owners may not have to work long day-to-day hours, but they will work long hours handling problems with the business, worrying about the business, etc., which can be stressful.
With this in mind, business owners can set their organization’s schedules, make all of the decisions for the company and have the flexibility to work the job that they want to, without being tied down to a traditional work environment.
Again, if you’re one of those individuals that don’t mind a little hard work and is willing to put in the effort to build your own business, you’ll be glad you did, because you’ll find you have the most flexibility of all careers.
If you love what you do, and you’re good at it, you can always seek a career path as a consultant. Consultants are called in by larger (and sometimes smaller) organizations to assist them in areas where they are lacking.
For instance, some organizations may not have a marketing department, as they may not need a full-time department, but they do have occasional marketing needs that they outsource. In these instances, these organizations will seek out consultants to assist them.
Consultants get to set their own hours, though they may be on the hook for occasional travel to meet their clients on-site for meetings when needed. Consultants also work their own hours, as they don’t report to an organization and therefore don’t need to work their core hours.
That being said, there are instances in which this may not be the case, so be sure to be clear when you set expectations on what you can and can’t do for your clients.
6. Recruiter (Independent)
While recruiting certainly is not the career for everyone, some people absolutely love it. There are many recruiting agencies out there, but you’ll find that you’re accountable to high metrics and crazy hours, which doesn’t provide much of a work-life balance.
For this reason, if recruiting is something you are passionate about, you should ensure that you seek an independent recruitment career.
Independent recruiters can set their own schedules, though you will still find that you work long hours at certain times of the year, as people tend to seek new opportunities in waves. You do have the ability to set your own hours, though you may find yourself sourcing new opportunities and candidates in the middle of the night.
With that in mind, there is major salary potential in recruitment, so if it’s something you’re genuinely interested in, you should go for it!
7. Pet Sitter
Some individuals seek opportunities closer to home, and closer to their passions. If you’re a pet person, pet sitting might be for you!
Things to know about this job include the low salary potential, as this isn’t a surefire financial hit, but that isn’t to say that you won’t get there, and the fact that you may have to spend a lot of time building your business before you get clientele.
That being said, pet sitting is so rewarding, stress-free and ultimately entertaining, so if you’re passionate about pets, you’ll find that you love what you do. Again, hours with this career can vary, but you have the ability to set the hours you want, which provides you with ample flexibility.
The only thing you have to worry about? Caring for the pets!
Again, sales isn’t necessarily a career that many people enjoy, but for those that do, it’s very rewarding, especially financially. But, even more importantly, sales can provide a large amount of flexibility, which is a huge draw for many, even if the career itself isn’t all that appealing.
While many organizations offer sales positions in-house, there’s not necessarily a lot of room for flexibility there. For this reason, when working in sales, you want to seek out positions that boast of a strong, work-life balance, and that sound like they’re of interest to you.
Some sales positions will require travel, which isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite, and it’s extremely time-consuming. Other sales positions require you to meet a certain amount of metrics, and the organization may not care exactly when you’re able to do so.
Basically, with sales positions, you’re gambling, so if you’re interested in working through this career, you’ll want to be extra careful when it comes to searching for the right position for you.
9. Real Estate Agent
Working as a real estate agent is rewarding in many ways, but most importantly, many individuals find that working in real estate offers them complete flexibility to work the hours they want, all while doing something they love.
Real estate agents can work as many or as few listings as they want at a time, and really work for themselves (unless you end up working for a specific firm). With that in mind, the flexibility is essentially endless.
You can schedule showings around your personal schedule, only make yourself available on certain days of the week and even set your own hours according to when you want to work throughout the day.
Many real estate agents will work short days, but work throughout the week, and others will work longer days for less time during the week.
The possibilities here are endless, so the more thought you put into this career, the more likely you are to benefit from the available flexibility.
10. Any Field
Last, but certainly not least, you can essentially work in any field and find a position that offers you the flexibility that you’ve been looking for. Just because you are seeking a certain career doesn’t mean that you can’t have flexibility in your work schedule (or a positive, work-life balance).
That’s the good news! The bad news is that it can be challenging to find the right place.
For instance, just because an organization says they offer flexibility, doesn’t necessarily mean that they do. Some organizations will boast of and offer a positive work-life balance, but that doesn’t mean that they actually offer it in practice.
Others may not offer it upfront, but upon working there, you’ll find that it’s everything you’ve been wanting in a job.
Basically, when going to an interview, trust your gut and hold out for a position that you really want before committing. Your job is a big part of your life, so you need to be sure you’re making the right decision for you.
Beginning a career is a complete change of pace, and can, therefore, be a difficulty, especially if you’re going to be working a traditional, 9 to 5. For many, this is an in-accomplishable feat; for others, a traditional 9 to 5 works perfectly for their family lives and needs.
If you find that you are the former, don’t fret! There are plenty of career options available to you, whether or not you feel that you can work traditional hours. In fact, if you’re interested in a long-term career with manageable hours, there are plenty of career paths that you can consider!
The above list of ten careers is a great starting point, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and seek opportunities in other fields that don’t necessarily have traditional hours. Your job search doesn’t have to be limited to hours you’re not interested in working; make sure you are taking the time to find the perfect fit for you in order to ensure your happiness in your work life and beyond.