We have known it for some time now our workforce is changing. As we finalise our shift from the industrial age to the information age, we come to the realisation that there is no longer a need for a traditional workforce of 9 to 5 labourers. There is evidence of this in every single city in the developed world, our offices are increasingly lying vacant while employees are taking their work with them on the go, using the internet to communicate in ways that were never thought possible just 20 years earlier. While this is good news for our increasing desire for flexible lifestyles, it leaves many industries and traditions in a state limbo.
Take for example your place of residence. Why do you live where you live? The answer that comes in mind for most people is, it’s close to work. Maybe you want to be close to family or perhaps you just enjoy the area. Not many of us have the luxury of the latter, in fact work would make up the majority of why we choose to live in a particular area, even if we don’t like it, even if our the place we live in is not exactly what we had in mind for reasons of price or availability. So when we have a rapid number of workers ditching the traditional reins of employment to become freelancers, where does that leave the humble home?
For myself, one of the most satisfying feelings in the world was to leave traditional employment and my small two bedroom Brisbane apartment behind. I had reached a point in my life where I had been living the same way for the past few years, working for someone else and living for the weekend. Only my weekends were slowly being filled with errands such as shopping for the rest of the week, cleaning the apartment and whatever else that had being piled on top of the to-do pile throughout the week. My partner and I slowly started hatching a plan that would leave many questions unanswered but that would be all part of the thrill.
Just 5 months down the track, we amassed enough freelance work to take ourselves on an extended holiday to South East Asia, taking our work online to make sure every day was an adventure, something new and with nothing anchoring us down like a mortgage on the home that everyone tells you to purchase at this stage in life, there is virtually no limit where life can take you. It’s what many people never seem to realise, there is no right answers in life. We were brought up to live a certain way, the career, the mortgage, the kids and the 2 cars in the driveway. But the truth is you only need to look over the fence and see that you are just living a carbon copy life.
Most people would see it as throwing away the chance to have a successful life. But with a majority of people falling into that mediocre life simply by doing what they are told, chances are taking life into your own hands will bring you far more success than living by tradition. Life by your own terms means more opportunities for work, investment, lifestyle and overall quality of life. So maybe it is time to stop thinking about where you should be and start thinking about where you really want to be.
Currently, approximately a third of the US workforce is composed of freelancers. This figure is expected to grow to over 50 per cent in the next 15 years alone and is likely to repeated across the developed world. The evidence is all around us. Outsourcing, downsizing, relocating and casualisation is all the rage in the workplace. Rather than waiting for life to happen to you through no fault of your own, your employer deciding to retrench your position or you taking on a casual job for example, there has never been a better time to make a decision to use your skills for improving your own lifestyle.
Some of us have already experienced this and being offered remote working agreements. Performing many duties at the home office or any location we desire. Yet so many of us fail to take advantage of exactly what this means, the value it holds. If you have no obligation to come into the office every Monday, why not reap the rewards and take your work to a place you truly enjoy. Living where you truly want to whether it is in a quiet country town, by the beach or traveling world. So many of us are so afraid of the possibility to lose what we have that we never gain what want. There is no honour in living the way you were told you were supposed to, you would not be rewarded or congratulated for living an ordinary life. We live an average of 27,335 days; it’s about time to make every single one count.