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With the rise of self-employment and freelance work, is a part-time job the new 9-5? Here at YCB, we spoke to founder Leah Gibbs about what benefits a flexible career could have for you!

Full-time work, the 9-5 daily grind, has for a long time been widely accepted as the career norm. It’s something we’re all expected to enjoy (or endure!) at some point in our lives. However, recently there’s been a steady rise in freelance, self-employment and part-time careers. Wanting more control, women are re-directing themselves in to more flexible jobs to accommodate multiple commitments or unique situations that make them unable to work ‘full time’.

Whilst a flexible career seems like the ideal situation – coffee breaks whenever you want and the freedom to enjoy watching your children grow up – some people can be put off by how difficult it is to find such work. Does it really exist or is it just a strange myth we’re all told when we complain about the 9-5 rat race? What if we told you there exists in the magical realm of the internet an innovative website that provides an essential service to fix this problem, helping part-timers and freelancers find work with ease?

…well, we’re about to find out!

Lifestyle Careers and Work At Home Mums is an online recruitment service for both job-seekers and recruiters. Founder and career-guide-guardian-angel Leah Gibbs adds jobs to the site to make sure there’s always a fantastic range of flexible and part time jobs in your location and career sector. Wanting to freelance in graphic design? Easy. How about working flexible hours as a photographer? No problem. Looking to fit some writing in around other commitments? The site then allows you to apply for your choice of positions, and even features a helpful ‘Job Alert’ service and a shortlist option to highlight your favorite positions.

Searching for a job (part time or otherwise!) can feel like a full time job in itself; Leah was inspired to create the service from her own personal experiences. ‘Not so long ago I was a mum seeking to make her return into the workplace.  For a few years I had worked hard raising my daughter and doing the mum things.  I [wanted to] start enjoying the best of both worlds: being a mum and enjoying a rewarding career. But the search for a job that would allow me to do this was just futile!’

n 2007, Leah founded Work At Home Mums, but quickly realised that the same frustrations she suffered were common to people of all backgrounds and situations. Created in 2009, Lifestyle Careers was her next successful venture, and focused on the Australian job market. Her most recent  rebrand in 2015, is her most ambitious yet. Not only does it feature part-time and freelance jobs, but also full-time jobs with family-friendly employers who understand the demands of being a parent and are willing to adjust working hours accordingly.

More and more people today are opting out of the rat race and into careers that work around their lifestyle…a healthy work / life balance’ is important for one’s well-being, and a ‘more balanced existence’.  With a career history including both part-time and full-time jobs, Leah has valuable advice to give: ‘be self-motivated [and] have proven self-discipline!’

As the part-time work force continues to grow, the facts and figures agree with Leah that ‘part-time work and flexible work options is the workplace of the future’. Leah acknowledges that this option isn’t for everyone, and that it’s important to ‘have a good think about what you really want to do, what you enjoy doing. Some people prefer the structured work day and perform better when surrounded by colleagues. However, there are a great many people who are well suited to flexible working patterns and who not only improve their productivity but greatly enhance their own quality of life’.

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