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Alternatives to Traditional Full-Time Employment

If traditional full-time employment doesn’t work for you, you have other options. Your choice will depend on what your life looks like right now. See which of the following 10 options can work for you.

  1. Part-time work:
    • allows you to stay in the workforce and keep your skills current
    • offers less pay, fewer benefits and reduced chances for promotion
    • may need extra effort to keep in touch with, and feel part of, the team
  2. Job sharing:
    • involves sharing duties, salary and benefits of one position with another person
    • allows some give-and-take if you need to exchange days or take time off
    • has the same advantages and drawbacks as working part-time
    • needs lots of communication between job-sharing partners as well as similar working styles and approaches
  3. Temporary work:
    • involves short-term positions, often through an employment agency
    • offers the chance to meet many people, experience a variety of work situations and learn new things
    • may allow you to move into a permanent position
    • may not give you enough time to feel a sense of belonging
    • may offer few benefits and pay a set wage, with little chance for negotiation
  4. Casual or on-call work:
    • involves working only when you’re needed, often on short notice
    • allows you to remain in the workforce and keep your skills current
    • may lead to more regular work
    • provides an uncertain income
    • may create problems with family schedules and other duties
    • may not allow enough time at work to finish projects or get to know people
  5. Seasonal work:
    • may involve working steady, long hours for only part of the year (for example, landscaping, snow removal)
    • allows you to study or travel during the rest of the year
    • can create financial problems when you’re laid off if the weather prevents you from working
  6. Flextime:
    • involves working a standard daily number of hours but with flexible start and finish times, or working longer shifts but getting an extra day off
    • lets you schedule other duties and activities during office hours when you’re not working
    • may allow you to start earlier or later in the day
    • may mean working 12-hour shifts with rotating days off
  7. Telecommuting:
    • involves working away from your employer’s place of business and using computers and mobile devices
    • may allow you to work on your own schedule
    • cuts out work commutes and office interruptions
    • may increase distractions (for example, children in home office)
    • may limit contact with co-workers
  8. Self-employment, providing technical, professional, business or personal services:
    • involves providing services based on your skills and training, such as accounting, child care or plumbing
    • allows you to choose your work hours and duties
    • requires you to market your services
    • offers an uncertain income and no employer-paid benefits, such as sick time, pension and holiday pay
    • may allow you to qualify for some special benefits through employment insurance
    • may contribute to a feeling of isolation if you’re often alone
  9. Self-employment, selling your own products:
    • allows you to be creative
    • allows you to adjust your work to seasonal demands or to the market
    • may allow you to reduce costs by working out of your home
    • may not be profitable if you’re competing with mass–produced items
    • requires you to develop new products to keep up with changing consumer demands
    • allows you to choose your work hours and duties
    • requires you to market your products
    • offers an uncertain income and no employer-paid benefits, such as sick time, pension and holiday pay
    • may allow you to qualify for some special benefits through employment insurance
  10. Self-employment, selling others’ products:
    • may involve online or mail marketing, direct marketing (such as home parties) or purchasing a franchise
    • trains you as a direct marketer or franchise owner but requires you to conform to others' policies and standards
    • provides a tested formula for selling brand name products but may allow little room for creativity
    • may require a large financial investment, particularly for a successful franchise

Learn more about alternatives to full-time employment

These and other alternatives to full-time employment are more common than ever. Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, they may be worthwhile options for you to explore.


Additional Information

Find out more about employment insurance benefits for a self-employed person at Service Canada.

 

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