At the end of 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.7%, which is the lowest its been in 49 years (the lowest unemployment rate in history was 1.2% in 1944, in case you were wondering). As the unemployment rates continue to drop, employers are having a hard time finding workers. As econ 101 taught us, when supply is low and demand is high, things get expensive. This means that workers are in a great position to leverage the current market conditions to get better benefits. Many employees ask for higher pay or better healthcare during these flourishing economic times, but there are other benefits that may be worth considering when optimizing for quality of life.
When employees are given the freedom to determine their work schedule, they are working for a company that embraces Flex Time. Of the 3000+ employees surveyed by flexjobs, 97% said they are interested in being a flexible worker long term. This perk is so valuable to workers that 28% said they would willingly take a pay cut to be able to work remotely.
If telecommuting, irregular hours, or a self designed schedule is something you are interested in pursuing, now is a great time to consider your options.
It is common knowledge that individuals are happier and more productive when they are working in a way that compliments their natural tendencies. This concept has is known as the Right Brain vs. Left Brain Theory.
Psychologists and social scientists who have studied the brain have concluded that the left side of the brain is used when completing analytical tasks and the right side is responsible for more creative pursuits. In general, individuals are either predominately “left brained” or “right brained”. There is no standard test to determine which side of the brain is more dominant, but the following questions should give you a good idea of where you fall on the spectrum.
Answer True or False for each of the following 6 questions:
- I believe there is either a right or a wrong way to do everything.
- I am often late getting to places.
- When I am confused, I usually go with my gut instinct.
- To find a lost item, I try to picture where I last saw it.
- I would read the directions before trying to assemble something.
- It is easier to draw a map than describe to someone how to get somewhere.
1. Left 2. Right 3. Right 4. Left
5. Left 6. Right
Total the number of True answers and compare against the answer key to assess if you have more “left brain” or “right brain” dominance.
Knowledge is Power
If you decided that you’de like to work remotely or utilize the flex time benefits discussed earlier, it would be wise to consider your brain dominance when deciding your career path. In general, left-brained people excel in jobs that involve logistics, analytics, and data. Right-brained people thrive in careers that focus on creativity, innovation, and EI (emotional intelligence).
According to Flexjobs, the top career paths (that allow flexible working conditions) for each brain style are as follows:
- Accountant (flexible schedule)
- Financial Analyst (telecommute)
- Investigator (freelance)
- Securities Attourney (flexible schedule)
- Commercial Banker (telecommute)
- Teacher (telecommute)
- Graphic Designer (freelance)
- Therapist (flexible schedule)
- Photographer (freelance)
- Creative Director (telecommute)
It is important to note that everyone uses both sides of their brain in tandem. Most people, however, find it more natural to approach problems from one of the two perspectives (logical or emotional). You shouldn't limit yourself when considering which career will work best for you, it is just that certain types of careers seem to be better suited towards a specific problem solving style.