While freelance or contract employment is not what all workers would choose, some people deliberately opt for this type of work, whether for professional or personal reasons or a combination of the two.
There are many reasons to choose to work only occasionally, despite the precariousness that this can sometimes cause: better work-family balance, longer vacations, different pace of life, varied tasks.
More vacations, better mental health
Miruna Oana has been a casual worker for several years. The young woman is both a massage therapist, manager for ticketing at the Wilder building and team leader at the Montreal Convention Centre. She massages once or twice a month, and manages the schedules of her other two jobs as it suits her.
“I have rush periods, then slow times,” she says. “It works well with my pace of life, liking to have long vacations as I do.” By combining her different jobs she works full time, but takes two months of vacation. “Being able to manage my schedule myself also gives me a greater sense of freedom. It’s mostly psychological, because at the end of the day I work the same number of hours as full time, but there’s more variety,” she confides, travelling at least once a year.
For Audrey Caron, a tourism and culture consultant, her choice is motivated by other reasons. A municipal official for more than 10 years, she suffered burnout at the age of 35. “It forced me to rethink my priorities,” says the mother of two young children who wanted, despite her family responsibilities, to be as successful at work as at home.
“Today, I choose the projects I decide to work on, as well as my clients, my work schedules, my vacation days, etc.,” explains Audrey. Her new framework is stimulating: she changes projects regularly, even if it requires quick adjustments, and is always meeting new people, which allows her to build her network.
“My salary is 80% lower than it was when I was at the City. I have to adjust and sometimes accept little jobs to pay the bills, keep up the pace I have chosen and work on my own in this field,” Audrey admits. Despite everything, she does not plan to return to a full time job in a company. “I would have to be really passionate or stimulated by this work, and the schedules would have to be flexible and part-time,” she says.