Top 6 Best Jobs For Flexibility And Time Off
Imagine that you didn't have to go to work tomorrow. You could sleep in and head out to a river in the countryside, where you would enjoy a picnic and a good book. No calling in, no coming up with a lie for your slave-driving boss. Most of us aren't lucky enough to get away with this. However, the best jobs for flexibility and time off offer this kind of work-life balance. If you want to enjoy your personal life, you might want to consider switching careers.
Take it from me. I used to work in a high-stress job. I was a manager in charge of a checkpoint at an airport. It was my job to ensure that passengers flowed through the checkpoint as efficiently as possible, and that the unionized screening officers got their breaks on time, and that there were enough officers at the checkpoint to run it. If customers had a complaint, I was the one who deescalated it calmly and professionally while following the rules and laws. The next time you fly, look around the pre-board security screening checkpoint. You'll see someone in a suit at the back.
That was me. And I hated it. I worked 12 hour days without a break and dealt with more stress and pressure than I ever wanted in my life. By the time I quit, my hair had turned gray, and I had developed plantar fasciitis in both feet.
Then I became a writer. I'll never go back to that former life. You, too, can live free. Choose one of the best jobs for flexibility and time off to live a better life!
The Future Job
The jobs of the future will mostly be the best jobs for flexibility and time off, but you don't need to wait. The concept of the five-day work week and the two-day weekend was created by Henry Ford at the end of the 19th century. It used to be that people worked six days a week, but Jews and Christians couldn't agree on whether to have Saturday or Sunday off, so Ford gave them all both days off. Then, in the 1920s, the Amalgamated Steelworkers Union of America fought several hard battles to ensure that workers across the country got two days off a week. There haven't been many changes since then.
The modern job, then, isn't that modern. The idea of workers reporting to supervisors who report to managers who report to senior managers, and so on, is a vestige of the Industrial Revolution. Industry organized along highly military lines for maximum efficiency. But in the 21st century, these schedules and lines of responsibility seem archaic. So what will future jobs look like?
According to Robert-Walters, a career consultancy, in a large employee insights survey of Millenial workers in America, work-life balance is the number one thing people want in the new economy. The survey discovered that Millenials want to concrete rewards for their work and not just "work for the sake of work." Also, according to the survey:
"They like flexibility and freedom, the option to work from home at least some of the time and the expectation that getting the job done is more important than being “clocked in.” In other words, they want trust and respect." - Robert Walters, Robert Walters Employee Insights Survey, July 23, 2018, from Robert Walters
There are several key factors that every future job will have.
Most modern jobs are already high-tech. This doesn't mean that the only jobs available are at Google or Apple. You don't need an engineering degree to work in a high-tech job. Instead, you can expect to work alongside more and more computerized automation. Even grocery jobs are more high-tech than ever before, with robots that can scan shelves on entire aisles and forecast restocking needs. If you work in an office, then look around at how amazingly high-tech it is. Sure, the company hasn't replaced the computers in eight years, and they're still running Windows 7, but compare that to most of human history, and the technology is jaw-dropping.
Technology moves us forward, and our relationship to work is undergoing rapid changes that most people don't recognize. Make no mistakes about it, however. In 20 years, today's workspace will seem as antiquated as the shop floor in a Charles Dickens textile mill does to us. Technology liberates us from the drudgery of work, and more and more we become machine operators rather than actual workers.
2. Highly flexible
Thanks to technology, our work burden is lifted. Of course, automation renders more and more jobs obsolete, which is a serious problem that societies across the world will need to deal with very soon. But for those who keep their jobs or have the right combination of education and skill to succeed in a new job market, the standard eight-hour workday and five-day work week means nothing. The future job will be highly flexible. The economy is global and crosses time zones, with information and money flying around the world at the speed of light. There's no point in companies keeping set hours in today's world. The best jobs for flexibility and time off will be found in the future.
Already we see a shift to the future. More and more jobs require that work gets done with timelines. More and more, work gets broken into projects. How much time a worker is clocked in at their desk doesn't matter anymore. They can work at home, or from the beach, and so long as projects get completed on time, workers are free to work on their own schedule. One upside to this is the obsolescence of supervisors, who are no longer needed to micro-manage employee schedules.
Another aspect of future jobs is a lack of supervision, thanks to the superfluous nature of direct supervisor positions. In the future job, workers don't need to report to someone when they arrive, and they don't need to ask permission to use the washroom. Also, workers no longer need to be told when they can eat food or go home. Best of all, the best jobs for flexibility and time off in the future won't require workers to call in sick when their kids are sick or there's bad weather or a family emergency.
Jobs in the future won't have managers and supervisors in the traditional sense. They will have teams of people working towards common goals.
4. Lots of time off
Finally, work-life balance won't only be for the best jobs for flexibility and time off. Instead, it will be part of every job. The future job will make sure there's plenty of time off. That's because companies won't rely so much on the labor of their workers to make a profit but on the completion of projects. Automation, computers, distance work, and a more versatile workforce will make the drudgery of labor obsolete.
The Best Jobs for Flexibility and Time Off
The good news is that you don't have to wait for the future to find the best jobs for flexibility and time off. They're here now! Thanks to technology and forward-thinking Millenials who are redefining what it means to work, there are plenty of jobs where you can balance your personal life with your work life. The internet, and particularly Wi-Fi, collaborative editing, and cloud computing have opened up the world of work. Of course, many companies resist change.
Most of these get led by Baby Boomers who are stuck with the world of Microsoft from 2003 and can't see the rapid changes occurring all around them. Then there's the cost involved in transitioning a massive organization to a new model. All of that means that your average corporate job isn't going to change any time soon.
So, you're best off with one of these best jobs for flexibility and time off in 2019. Note that we didn't list these in any particular order.
1. Airline Pilot
When you think of the best jobs for flexibility and time off, you probably didn't think of airline pilots. Sure, they spend hours at a time strapped to their seat in the cockpit of the airplane. But you probably didn't know that they get anywhere from 10 to 15 days off each month. Their vacation packages are usually fairly decent too, with an average of four and a half weeks a year (depending on their union's collective bargaining agreement).
Another perk airline pilots get is time off in international locales once they land. Usually, they only get to stay for a night, but they're free to enjoy themselves in foreign cities during that time. If they don't have a turn-around, they could end up there for a few days. The company pays for their hotel and food. That's a great way to work!
Freelance work offers as much flexibility and time off as one desires, with the caveat that any time off will cut into earnings. So whether you're a freelance writer, a graphic designer, an Uber driver, or a dog-walker, freelancing offers the most flexible schedule in the market today. Thanks to the wonders of Internet 2.0, more freelancing opportunities are available than ever before. In fact, more than 30 percent of the United States workforce freelances today, and that number is expected to reach 50 percent within a few decades. That's extremely disruptive to the old Industrial Revolution-style of work.
The downside to freelancing is the need to find clients, manage your own finances, pay for your own benefits, and of course, to have the self-discipline to get work done. If you don't work, you don't get paid. Many people find this lifestyle precarious, although freelancers on average earn more than their employed colleagues.
3. Server Administrator
If you're into tech and data systems, but can't stand the thought of working nine-to-five in a soul-crushing technology park in some suburb, then consider being a server administrator. The server administrator keeps a company's servers working. They make sure everything is running fine, and when problems occur, they jump into action to get everything back up and running in record time. Most importantly, a server administrator works to keep company information secure.
While that seems like a lot of work, the great thing about being a server administrator is that you can do it remotely. As long as you have a decent laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, there's no reason why you can't monitor your employer's server from your bungalow in Cancun. Most server administrators perform actual work for about 22 hours a week, and the rest of the time they're just monitoring and doing whatever else they want. Best of all, the pay is really good because it's a job requiring special training and qualifications.
4. Virtual Assistant
For the ultimate in freelance lifestyle, become a virtual assistant. You'll wake up, turn on your computer, and start managing your clients' emails. Then you'll see if your clients left you any instructions on Slack. You may have to schedule some social media posts and probably enter purchase information into an Excel or Google spreadsheet. If your client is traveling for business, you'll need to book them their flights and hotels and possibly email them their itinerary for the trip. You do all this, and you haven't changed out of your pajamas.
The virtual assistant industry is booming. For a while, it was heavily concentrated in places like India and China. Today, professionals decided native English speakers were worth the money after all. Today, people from the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Great Britain are in high demand as virtual assistants. Best of all, the pay is decent, averaging $22 US dollars an hour.
5. ESL Teacher
Picture this: Someone pays you to travel to Spain, and they put you up in your own apartment for a year. They pay your medical insurance, and they give you 1,800 euros a month on top of all that. What they ask in return is that you teach their kids English for 20 hours a week. Oh, and you'll get weekends and holidays off. Is that too good to be true? One of the best jobs for flexibility and time off is ESL teacher. The actual term is TEFL or TESOL (Teach English as a Foreign Language or Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages). And the TEFL industry continues to boom around the globe.
Teachers live a fairly relaxed lifestyle. In many countries in Asia, they don't expect much of you. Simply be American and stand in front of a class for a few hours a day. The rest of the time you spend exploring a foreign culture, dating locals, traveling to awesome destinations, and spending those piles of disposable income you have. All you need to teach is a bachelor's degree in any subject and a one-month TEFL course. Japan and South Korea pay the highest salaries but expect more from their teachers. Russia, Poland, and China pay less, but you have more time off, and the cost of living is much lower, so you're still rich.
Copywriters can be either freelance or on contract. Almost all of them work out of their own home. That means they can make their own schedules and choose what kind of work they want. A copywriter creates written content for a variety of clients. That could be writing SEO-friendly content for blogs or providing all the written material for a corporation's website. Some copywriting is technical, so they may write instruction guides for doctors or engineers.
Thanks to the beauty of the internet and cloud computing, copywriting opportunities abound. Also, the more work a copywriter completes, the more opportunities come their way, and the more money they can demand. The more money they demand, the less they need to work. See where we're going with that?
7. Dockside Monitor
Do you know what a dockside monitor is? If so, you're probably surprised that we included it as one of the best jobs for flexibility and time off. If you don't know what it is, allow us to catch you up. Whenever commercial fishing vessels bring fish back to shore, or "lands," a dockside monitor needs to observe the offload. They weigh all the fish and report to the authorities how much of what species this particular boat took out of the ocean. That's how quotas get managed and how scientists keep track of fish stocks. This job is becoming more automated thanks to cameras and sensors, but governments still want a certified human at the dock to monitor events.
The great thing about this position is that when no boats are landing, you have all the time to yourself. Also, when the fishing season wraps up late in the year, you get time off. Of course, there's no pay when there's no work. So you end up working like a mad person in the late spring and early summer. Most dockside monitors make in three months what office workers make in a year. That seems like a lot of work. However, because you put in tons of overtime in a few short months, you get to take the rest of the year easy. Full disclosure, I spent four years as a dockside monitor on the Pacific coast, and loved it.
What are the Best Jobs for Flexibility and Time off for You?
You have lots of choices when finding the best jobs for flexibility and time off. There's a wide variety of jobs, from flying airplanes to counting fish. If you value work-life balance more than just work, then one of these jobs may be right up your alley. Which job is best for you? Let us know in the comments!