5 Ways To Escape The Rat Race

personal-finance-3The corporate rat race requires a special kind of endurance. For creative people, natural entrepreneurs, and people who just don’t want to sit at a desk all day, it’s not appealing at all.

Instead of putting your time into a job you hate, check out alternative options that will give you a more satisfying career.



Get a Freelance Gig (or Several)

We live in the era of a growing gig economy. More people want to telecommute, work as independent contractors, and gain more control over their schedules and their lives. Companies want to hire the most talented workers, even if those workers live halfway around the globe. The solution is freelance work.

Writers, designers, marketers, recruiters, and myriad other professionals locate freelance jobs online with hundreds of reputable companies. Entrepreneur has a list of seven reputable websites where freelancers can find paying jobs. Some freelance jobs require only a small amount of skill. You can telecommute to your gig for a call center, transcribing data, or virtually assisting someone; landing these jobs doesn’t require a gigantic portfolio or an expensive degree.



Learn Web Design

Free online courses on Khan and Codecademy offer you extensive web design knowledge, and without investing in a four-year degree you can build a portfolio that will start landing you freelance web design jobs. Make no mistake, learning coding languages is difficult and you’ll have to put in lots of hours before you can quit your other jobs. Many people enjoy the juxtaposition of creative and cerebral skills that web design requires. Since every website needs maintenance and has at least one designer, you can imagine how in-demand web designers are.


Build an At-Home Business

Perhaps you’re trying to escape the typical desk job, but you don’t actually have an idea for a successful small business. Besides, starting a brick and mortar business takes capital, loans, employees, and equipment. Thankfully, larger companies want your help selling their products, and they’ll give you the chance to create your own small business beneath their larger umbrella.

Take, as an example, selling products with Amway, which represents an array of product lines from which you choose the products you want to sell as your small business. Having a reputable name behind your small business and the products already in hand when you start is half the battle. Very little prep time goes into creating an at-home sales business, and if you persevere, you’ll find the rewards to be worthwhile.


Become a Mystery Shopper

When you start freelancing you won’t pull in as much money as you need while you’re building your client list, so you’ll have to find ways to make extra cash. Kyle Taylor, founder of popular website The Penny Hoarder, reports that he can easily bring in an extra $400 to $500 each month doing mystery shopping jobs.

Mystery shopping is simple: you get an assignment from a company to mystery shop one of their locations near you. Visit the store, fill out the paperwork, and get paid. As long as you’re careful not to fall for scams, you’ll spend your time talking to people, examining products, and hanging out in retail stores instead of being stuck behind a desk.



Rent Your Extra Space on Airbnb

Becoming an Airbnb host probably won’t replace a nine-to-five salary unless your home has lots of spare rooms and you live in a location flooded with tourists year-round. However, renting your extra space on Airbnb is a great way to make extra cash with little effort on your part while you’re pursuing the other goals on this list.┬áBecoming a freelancer, seeking telecommute jobs, or building a business takes time. You’ll need a way to earn extra cash in the meantime.

You don’t have to rent out your spare space every week or weekend. Focus on festival weeks, sports events, and holiday seasons when the demand for lodging is high. If you wish, you can list your space only when you’re feeling strapped for cash.

The gig economy has some drawbacks, but it’s easier than ever to work from home, find side hustles, and pursue careers in creative fields. So get to work ditching that nine-to-five life!

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