The pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives. For many people, this has meant a loss of income and increased stress levels, plus questio
The pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives. For many people, this has meant a loss of income and increased stress levels, plus questioning their current career and seeking a more harmonious relationship between home and work.
COVID-19 has emphasised the benefits of having a source of flexible income that can be made from home. According to recent statistics, nearly one in every six freelancers claim the pandemic is the direct cause of them choosing their career path, with three quarters stating that they are happier as a result.
The main advantage of freelancing is the control over your career — you are effectively your own boss. Moreover, this can give you flexibility over your income, location, and workload, often resulting in more time to spend with loved ones and the autonomy to do the things you enjoy most.
Here are five occupations that can help you reap the rewards of self-employment and a better work-life balance.
1. Dog walker
Need a new lease (or should we say leash) of life? If you have experience in animal care, enjoy being active, and are most at home outdoors, you may enjoy dog walking on a professional level. Demand for doggy daycare has skyrocketed, with 3.2 million households acquiring a dog since the pandemic.
If you do enter the field, it’s important to understand that it is not an easy task. You should be prepared for any accidents and emergencies that occur on the job. As Tradesman Saver points out: “If a pet you’re looking after injures someone or causes damage to someone’s property, a claim against you can quickly get costly.” Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you have the right insurance for guaranteed financial cover.
2. Yoga teacher
Do you know your downward dog from your navasana? If you are a long-term yogi, have plenty of patience and enjoy helping others, why not look to gain certification as a yoga instructor?
Yoga classes are in high demand right now. Post-pandemic, we are more invested in our mental health than ever before and yoga is known to boost flexibility, strength and wellbeing. This freelance job offers fantastic opportunities to balance life between work and home, with additional chances to travel and work remotely.
To get started, complete an accredited course. A vast amount of tuition is available, including everything from part-time courses to four-month-long intensive retreats. Once qualified, you’ll be able to turn a hobby into a valued profession. However, like any career, it will have its ups and downs (no pun intended), so consider joining a professional organisation like The British Wheel of Yoga for training, support, and contact with other teachers.
3. Tour guide
While the demand for dogs and yoga rose considerably over the pandemic, the tourism industry took a battering. However, things are on the up for the sector as people are now enjoying their long-postponed holidays. Consequently, the value of tour guides is projected to climb as tourists demand unique activities and interactions again.
While there may be greater employment options abroad, there are still good opportunities here in the UK, especially if you have a history of relevant work experience. If not, there are possibilities to take travel and tourism further education courses, plus customer service apprenticeships. Seasonal work is more flexible, with some companies offering roles to inexperienced holiday reps and tour guides who are enthusiastic, professional and engaging.
4. TEFL teacher
TEFL, the acronym for ‘teaching English as a foreign language’, can be a great profession to enter, especially if you enjoy working with children. It is flexible, well-paid, in-demand, and there are numerous opportunities to work remotely or with adult learners. There are also prospects for some especially rewarding work, such as teaching international refugees so that they can better adjust to their new lives.
So, how do you become a TEFL teacher? There are thousands of courses available, but be careful, as many will not get you very far, especially without a degree. With a degree, you have more flexibility and can apply for jobs immediately in Asia, where demand is sky-high.
The best method, however, is a CELTA course. Classed as a Level 5 qualification, CELTA (certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages) is the most widely recognised qualification and suitable for anyone who has completed higher education. If unsure, be sure to do your research and explore the pros and cons of the industry.
5. Graphic designer
Do you have a passion for fine art? If you seek a creative role, a job in graphic design may be for you. When most people think of graphic design, logos and corporate branding spring to mind. However, graphic design is a highly versatile field that can be applied to many different capacities. It’s a competitive industry, but as with most roles, completing a course, volunteering or undertaking an internship can help you build expertise and eventually a freelance career.
If you feel confident in your abilities and CV, you can do a few things to increase your chances of getting a job in graphic design. Start by building up your portfolio, and be sure to showcase various skills and styles. In addition, it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends in the industry. Graphic design is constantly evolving, as is the demand for freelance candidates who are familiar with the latest software and techniques.