As the old adage goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” And that’s the dream, right? To do something you’re passionate about on a daily basis. When you’re honest with yourself, though, do you live to work, or work to live? Are you thriving, or merely surviving? Well, guess what—there’s a way to do both!
Gimme Some Space
A thrival job is a one that allows you to not only survive by making ends meet but thrive in your dream career as well. It’s a concept embraced mostly by artists and creative types, but it’s simply a way to make money that doesn’t exert such smothering demands on your time and energy that it leaves you too sapped to pursue the big things you want to go after. And that’s something that should appeal to all of us!
We’ve all known working artists or budding entrepreneurs who try to juggle low-level jobs at offices or stints in the service industry. Ultimately, that avenue of work ends up eating a lot of time and can be so soul-sucking that it hampers your ability to do anything else.
Thankfully, in this golden age of the gig economy, more and more flexible opportunities are arising that can put real dough in your pocket while giving you some breathing room to spend the afternoon painting, working on your business plan, or preparing for that big audition.
Where to Find a Thrival Job
If you’re looking to break out of the carousel of low-wage babysitting gigs and bartending shifts and find a thrival job, there are many avenues to explore. Some of my favorites are below:
Freelance Content Creation/Management & Assistance
Much of what we do here at Don’t Panic falls into this category. Our contractors work on a freelance, per-project basis and are largely able to do their work how and when their schedule allows it. Whether it’s providing virtual assistance to a busy CEO or ghostwriting for a client’s blog, the work is sure to keep your mind stimulated without stifling your freedom.
Make sure you’re aligning yourself with a company that both values their contractors and pays fairly. Communicating upfront about rates and expectations will make sure you’re getting compensated appropriately for your work.
In a world where our purchasing decisions are influenced by such myriad factors, companies are always seeking ways to stand out from the crowd. Employing brand ambassadors can help them to convert potential customers into loyal fans. This kind of work could include handing out swag at a big event, working the floor at a trade show, or regularly talking up a company’s products on social media.
If you’ve got some knowledge of the marketing industry and a passion for talking to people and making connections, this is the gig for you! They’re typically campaign-based and are therefore limited time commitments, but pay can be as much as $30+/hr depending on the job. Craigslist and Facebook are great spots to start hunting for opportunities.
For the movers and shakers among us, fitness class instruction is a great thrival opportunity. Whether it’s yoga, Zumba, or Crossfit, there is always a demand for talented, high-energy instructors at gyms around the world. You can often set your own schedule and pay is going to be much more competitive than your typical service industry post.
If fitness isn’t your thing but you’ve got other skills, maybe look into crafting classes. Most cities have “paint & sip” style classes where groups come to enjoy some wine and socializing with their painting instruction. Or maybe you’re more interested in teaching a knitting or calligraphy class at a local craft store? Make the most of the skills you’ve got and leverage them for some time-flexible cash.
As the world moves more and more towards a digital future, educational institutions are embracing the idea of virtual instruction. Opportunities here can range from K-12 students all the way through college-aged pupils. Depending on the grade level, these jobs typically require that you have a bachelors or masters degree in your subject, but for those so qualified, this can be a relatively lucrative and flexible option.
There are opportunities out there for subject-specific tutors, ESL teachers, test prep, and even faculty-level posts. VIPKID is an especially popular organization, but you can also find these sorts of jobs on regular job search engines, as well as by checking the job openings at specific institutions you may be interested in.
Your Thrival Job Is Waiting
As you can see, there’s so much opportunity awaiting you out there. If you’ve got a dream you’re really itching to run after, know that you don’t have to compromise that in order to pay your rent. What’s more, not everyone’s dream day job involves waiting tables or tending bar. By expanding your options to find flexible work that pays well, you can legitimately have your cake and eat it, too!
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A textbook Capricorn and a daughter of the Deep South, Erin honed her instinctual love of organization and high-level strategy by watching and dissecting SEC football every autumn Saturday since birth. She thrives on finding the perfect balance between artistry and efficiency to deliver a copy that is both compelling and tight. Her writing and editorial experience span fields ranging from marketing to arts & entertainment, and from animal rescue to fashion design. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, volunteering with animal advocacy organizations, and spending time with her husband John, their two sons Emmett and Vincent, and their faithful hound, Lyra.
Work superpower: I'm a chameleon with a pen. If I get to know someone well enough, I can write fluently in their voice!
Favorite cheese: Cave-Aged Gruyere
Go-to karaoke song: Jolene by Dolly Parton
Beverage of choice: Iced Coffee.
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