The nine to five has generally been the common goal of career minded individuals. Even for many who choose careers that operate outside of those standard business hours, like hospitality, healthcare, and retail, they work towards the days where they know they’ll have the weekend off and be able to have dinner with their families each night or a cocktail with friends. Despite this being the goal for so long, the tides have begun to change as technology advances and the rigid lines of business become more flexible.

While the 9 to 5 works well for many, as commuting so accurately portrays, it’s possible to live both a fulfilled life and have a solid career. The transition can be precarious for some, once you realize you can enjoy an afternoon at the beach without the crowds, visit the bank and post office without rushing there on a Saturday morning, the 9 to 5 begins to lose its charm. It’s no surprise why those with flexible work schedules often select to take a midweek day off for leisure.

There are many reasons that people opt away from a traditional work schedule. So how do you fit a full time career in with a non-traditional schedule, anyway? There are many different ways that people are breaking the walls of the standard workweek, and finding something that works well for them.

The Weekend isn’t Long Enough
There are few Mondays that roll around where you don’t hear someone saying their weekend was too short. Most people don’t mind working full time, especially in jobs they enjoy, but when it comes down to it, people prefer when their time is their own. One way people lengthen their weekend without working less is by adjusting their schedule. Some people work longer days during the week to allow for a three day weekend or a day off during the week.

The Commute is Taking Its Toll On You
If your commute is the worst part of your job, why not do it fewer days? Many companies have become flexible with scheduling, as long as the work is getting done. If you choose to work 10 hour days instead of 8, your commute time will be cut down by a day, and by commuting outside of the usual commuting hours, you’ll likely hit less traffic. You’ll end up with a likely shorter commute, less wear and tear on your vehicle, and save money on fuel and maintenance. Your work day will also be more productive because you can work for longer stretches.

You Just Don’t Want to Dedicate 40 Hours a Week to Work
You don’t have to be lazy to not want to work for 40 hours a week. Maybe you just want a little extra time in the day to spend with your family, work on your passion, or whatever may strike your fancy. Many industries consider 32 hours to be full time and still offer benefits, and these may just be the careers you would like to get into. If you find the right job, you may be able to work fewer hours while making the same, or even more money than you would in a traditional work setting.

Concentrating for 8 Hours Straight Can Be Taxing
Especially in high stress jobs, eight hours straight of work, give or take a lunch break, can be overwhelming. Many cultures practice the concept of an extended break midday for rest, but if you split your work day into a morning session and an afternoon session you may reap the benefits with a longer than standard lunch break in the middle. Giving yourself time midday to exercise, enjoy a leisurely meal, catch up on errands or simply give your mind a break can be hugely beneficial to your mental health and focus once you return to work after your break.

You Don’t Want to Leave Your Home
Home is where the heart is, and for those who aren’t enamored by cubemates and office politics, the thought of leaving a place that is peaceful to go to work is just not appealing. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to work, it just means you don’t physically want to be in an office and there’s nothing wrong with that. In modern society, working from home is growing wildly popular, both for employers and employees. There is a ton of flexibility in work from home options, whether you start your own out of home business, or work for an established company, the market is there. You just have to make sure you have the work ethic to do it.

Your Lifestyle Doesn’t Fit into Constraints
Whether you have a family to take care of, hobbies that are better enjoyed during the daytime hours, or many other reasons, you may find reasons to abandon the 9 to 5 for something that allows you to live your life freely. Maybe a job that allows you to work in the evenings or overnight is more your speed. Maybe a career that has long shifts to give you four or five days off in a row at a time. There may be benefits to having a set schedule during the week, but there is also something to be said for a more freestyle schedule. Find what works for you, and don’t let the nine to fivers tell you otherwise.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of a traditional schedule versus an untraditional to find the perfect career and schedule. Chances are you will find a solution that works best for you. Just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it is the best way to spend your career. Whether you’re an early bird, have a short attention span, have many interests outside of work or simply prefer forging your own trail, there is a fulfilling career out there for you. You just have to find it.

Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.