Categorized | Career

Part One: From 9 to 5 There are alternatives

Posted on 29 October 2008

An overflowing inbox. Playing phone tag with clients. A day planner crammed with meetings, where a lot of talking goes on, but nothing gets done. Does this sound like your day? These work annoyances can crowd up your day and steal your time. What happened to having time for creative pursuits? To work on those projects you really enjoy?

There are alternatives. The following five alternative work arrangements can help you enjoy your work and your life more.

Telecommuting/Home-Based Work

What is it? Work from your home office. Needed equipment includes a computer, Internet access, a fax machine, and a second phone line.

Advantages: Without a hectic morning commute, the day can begin calmly with a leisurely breakfast. There are no co-workers to distract you, your total number of meetings will dwindle, and you can focus more on those projects you enjoy.

Disadvantages: You may feel out of the loop, because you are not in the office to hear the latest gossip and new projects. Your boss may measure your level of productivity even closer. Also, you may find you don’t really enjoy eating your lunch with Jerry Springer as much as with your co-workers.


What is it? You and a second person share one job. A contract is usually drawn up, with the one person holding ownership of it. When the job sharing arrangement is over, that person keeps the job.

Advantages: Both people divide the responsibilities and the salary. By job-sharing, the employees can devote more time for their personal life, without sacrificing their careers.

Disadvantages: What happens if both people equally excel at the job, and they both want it after the agreement is over? Or one person doesn’t complete their end of the bargain? The job sharing agreement must be very specific to deal with these kinds of situations. You must also like the person and communicate well with them. Typically, job-share arrangements are temporary.


What is it? Employees still work the same number of hours, but choose their own shift.

Advantages: You can choose your own hours. Whether you have an appointment or want to start your day a little later, the option is there.

Disadvantages: Being on a standard 9-5 schedule is familiar to most people. It may be hard to make the adjustment to coming in earlier or later. Also, if everyone has different hours, putting together a meeting may be difficult.

The 4-day/40-hour workweek

What is it? A short work week squeezes 40 hours into 4 days instead of 5 days. Eight-hour days turn into ten-hour days.

Advantages: With a three-day weekend, you can pursue other interests or get away on a mini-vacation. Some people like having a whole extra day off, versus only working 8 hours each day and having two days off.

Disadvantages: It may be hard to focus for a ten-hour day. When things get busy, you may also find yourself working on the “extra” day off.


What is it? Contract or temporary workers are usually hired if there is a project or special job that the company needs to implement quickly. Contract companies supply the employer with temporary workers, or free agents are used. The temporary or contract worker may be on the job days, weeks or even months.

Advantages: If you are the type of person who enjoys working in changing environments and learning new skills, this type of work may be for you. Temporary work pays fairly well, depending on the assignment. The hours are usually 9am-5pm shift. You may also make important contacts and may get hired on full-time.

Disadvantages: Temporary work is just that, temporary. If you are the type of person who needs stability and a consistent paycheck, contract work may not be for you.


What is it? There are many types of work which can be pursued on a freelance basis. Such talents as graphic design, web design, writing, among many other specialties can be pursued on a freelance basis.

Advantages: You can work when you want, on the projects you like, at your own pace. Since you are the boss, you have control of the project.

Disadvantages: You may find for every time of abundance, there is a time of famine. You’ll need some money in the bank and a network of reliable contacts to keep the work flowing.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Resume Tips says:

    Telecommuting/Home-Based Work Tip

    Most utility companies take customer calls 24/7/365 so they are constantly in search of customer service representatives that may be willing to work odd hours and weekends. So if you’re looking to make some extra money on the side from home on a part-time basis or you are interested in a stable, full-time telecommute position, try your local utility companies first. You can even try utility companies in other states, as well as just about any cable company or any cell phone service provider.

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