6 Guidelines For Finding Flexible Hours & Rewarding Work So You Can Stay Away From Awful Jobs

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woman with dog working at desk

Do you wish your job had more flexible working hours? Or even a 4-day work week? Do you find yourself constantly saying, "I don't want to go back to the office!"?

We are, now, are in a historical inflection point with a collective reconsideration of who we are, what we care about, what we want to do with our time.

So, if you are reconsidering who you are, what you care about, and what you want, you are not alone. Almost one in three adults under 40 are considering changing careers.

If you are focusing on loved ones, on creative pursuits you would never let yourself take seriously before the pandemic, or on important causes like the environment, you are not alone. 

RELATED: The Results Are In: The Benefits Of Flexible Working Are Overwhelming

Having flexible working hours can lead to more rewarding work and a happier lifestyle. 

If you are well into your career and ready to reconsider how you want to work, you can begin with a free self-assessment to re-orient yourself with what you would like from work. 

Dart Lindsley, Google HR Executive, has developed a free online tool you can use to self-reflect on what you want your work to do for you.

Many people are seeking change.

Working women, especially, have had the most difficult time. As the pandemic took hold and home responsibilities increased, they left the workforce at four times the rate of men.

They were often supporting children with remote education, taking care of very young children, or helping their elder parents. Women were expected to work the same hours and in the same manner as they did before the pandemic.

This has led to women leaving the workforce altogether. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, women have been adversely affected by job losses — they made up 39 percent of global employment. That accounts for 54 percent of overall job losses since the pandemic began. 

So, if you're considering a career transition, it's time to evaluate where you are and where you might like to go to realign your work to better fit your life, take a look at these guidelines.  

Here are 6 guidelines for finding flexible working hours and rewarding work. 

1. Autonomy

Freedom to set your own hours and participation in the defining of your work activities, goals, and resources.

The more you can design your own work, the happier you will be.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Working Overtime Doesn’t Improve Your Career

2. Mastery

You should be building skills and competence to define your work in fields that the marketplace recognizes have value.

Your competence is your ticket to independence and self-realization of your goals

3. Progress

You want to be able to have agreed-on milestones to measure how well you are achieving your goals, so you feel accomplished.

Be proactive in setting your own criteria for success in your work.

4. Purpose

You should be able to align your work with your passions and purpose so you feel useful, needed, and valued in a way that enhances meaning in your life.

5. Values aligned with interests

You should know the parts of your job that you like to do, so you can define more of work to suit your own priorities.

For example, do you like to solve problems, discover new solutions, perform for audiences, or win a deal?

6. Choose a listening organization

Every organization has a culture. No matter who your boss or group is, you all work within a system.

Find an organization that is open to suggestions and provides you with some responsibilities to input into decisions and not simply for you to implement what your bosses decide for you.

Make sure to avoid awful jobs and here are the criteria to watch out for:

The organizational culture is hierarchical or authoritarian.

Your boss is abusive and disrespects you and your colleagues.

You are not learning skills or having experiences that prepare you for a higher-level or other positions within the organization or to find a better job.

The workload is so onerous and stressful that you are becoming numb, disengaged, and "burning out."

The scheduling and work expectations no longer fit your lifestyle or priorities.

Recognize you have more freedom than you may think to structure and define your work.

Look out for these things at all costs. The new imperative is to find work that rewards you rather than you working for just the rewards they give you. 

It's your prerogative to have a flexible working paradigm in your life now that things have completely changed for all of us. 

RELATED: 10 Clear Signs It’s Time To Break Up With Your Employer

Jeff Saperstein is a career transition coach. For more information on how he can help you land your dream job, visit his website.