While some individuals still choose this path — go to college and land a job and stay there until retirement. — and have great success, it is not for everyone. Many find fulfillment in eschewing the 9-5 and forging their own path.
Rather than taking the traditional route, you can choose to hone a specific set of skills and use your training to move between jobs, gaining experience and connections as you go. Embrace your independence and explore the flexibility you gain when you ditch the 9-5 and choose one of these nontraditional jobs.
1. Makeup Artist
This career is exciting as there are so many different paths to take within the industry. Picture yourself creating monster makeup for a horror film, an old-age look for a broadway play, giving brides that perfect smokey eye on their special day, or trying your favorite products out on customers at Sephora or Mac. Once you have the skills and the proper licenses, the sky is the limit for your career as a makeup artist.
2. Construction Contractor
If you want to learn a trade that will allow you more flexible hours, consider getting licensed as a contractor. As a construction contractor, you can apply your knowledge of sales concepts and business practices to a job that has constant variety and change of pace. While it is hard work, you can expect to keep non-traditional hours and make great relationships with your employees and clients.
3. Tour Guide
Do you live in a city filled with rich culture and history? Do you have a passion for storytelling, travel, and communication? Create your own “walking tour” company! Hundreds of tourists flock to cities like Franklin, TN and Charleston, SC to hear about the architecture, battles, and historical figures of years gone by, and you could be the one to tell them all about it.
4. Fitness Instructor
The demand for fitness instructors seems to be ever-growing, and if you love a good sweat, consider becoming a personal trainer, group instructor, or nutritional coach. Barre, yoga, HIIT, pilates, dance, and other forms of group exercise are becoming increasingly popular, and opportunities to coach others in fitness continue to grow. Gain a flexible schedule and get certified in your favorite ways to get fit.
5. Social Media Manager
Are you always thinking of new ways to gain followers on social media? Use your Twitter and Instagram skills to help companies grow their business and build their brand by becoming a social media manager! Some of these positions are full-time, but it’s possible to become an independent contractor and set your own hours or work from home while using your social media expertise.
6. Production Assistant/Producer
A great flexible job is to assist the director, producers, and crew as a production assistant on a TV or film set. It is a great way to make connections if you are looking to become a director or continue on in the creative realm later in life, and you have the ability to choose what projects you work on and when. You can make up to $1,000 per day on a single gig, and the median salary of a producer is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at.
With the economy on uncertain footing, you may be wondering if this is the right time to take out student loans. Perhaps you are someone who prefers the flexibility that contract work can provide, or the idea of throwing yourself into learning a skill or a trade is more appealing to you than the traditional university path… Whether you are a dedicated craftsman honing your trade or an individualist craving a flexible schedule, your career path shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. Take these suggestions as permission to go out and make your own way in the world.