Tips to find your first flexible job

Are you tired of endlessly scrolling through job ads in search of your dream flexible role? Find out how to find the perfect job that aligns with your lifestyle.

9th Apr 2024

In today's rapidly evolving workforce, more and more professionals are seeking roles that offer flexibility and work-life blend. Whether you're a parent juggling family responsibilities, a digital nomad embracing a location-independent lifestyle, or someone who simply values autonomy over their schedule, finding a job that aligns with your desired lifestyle is crucial for long-term satisfaction and productivity.

The rise of remote work, flexible hours, and unconventional arrangements has ushered in more opportunities for professionals prioritising flexibility. However, sifting through job listings and identifying roles that truly deliver the flexibility you need can feel overwhelming.

So how do you find your ideal flexible role?

Figure out what type of flexibility you need

Firstly, figure out what type of flexibility you’re after by defining your lifestyle. Our lifestyle quiz is the best way to help you get started. Identify any requirements around your current lifestyle, like frequent travel, caregiving duties or other commitments. Then explore how much location flexibility you want - whether that be fully remote, hybrid or on-site. Lastly, what time flexibility are you after? Are you looking to work core hours, part-time, or do you not mind about time flexibility at all?

By thoughtfully considering each question, you start mapping out the flexibility factors most important to you. This allows you to better pinpoint roles matching your needs rather than wasting time pursuing ill-fitting options.

Decide what flexible working means to you

Flexible working for one person might differ from another, depending on personal preference and lifestyle. This is where you will need to determine what flexible working needs to look like for you. Let’s take a look at some common examples, to help you understand what it is that you might be looking for.

  • Flexible working for parents - it might mean that working a full-time role is not possible for you; in that case, part-time jobs or job shares might be a great option. Or you might simply benefit from flexible working hours. 
  • Flexible working for carers - you may need flexible working hours to provide care to loved ones and attend any necessary appointments (which, most often, you’ll rarely get a choice in the days/times these are scheduled for).
  • Flexible working for travel nomads - “work from anywhere” is likely to be the best perk if you love to travel. Having this type of flexibility will allow you to work and travel without needing to quit your job or use up your annual leave.
  • Flexible working for people who are neurodivergent - remote and flexible working hours might be the best option to allow you to thrive and do your best work. 
Flexible workplaces, as a whole, will enable you to establish a way of working that suits you. That will not only help you to work more productively but also achieve an improved work/life blend.

Understanding the different types of flexible working

Let’s take a look at the type of flexibility on offer so you can better understand what you may be after.

Location flexibility

Remote: Remote roles mean you can work from your desired location within the country you were employed in all of the time.

Remote first: Similarly to remote, means you can work from your desired location within the country you were employed in most of the time. This will mean you will have occasional office days which could be once a month or once a quarter.

Hybrid: This type of work environment means there is a balance between in office and remote work and is the most popular amongst candidates as it offers the perfect blend of the two. It is important when searching for a hybrid role that you know exactly what this looks like - is it 2-3 days at home or 4-5 days at home? Is it set in office days or do you have a choice over when to go in? Make sure you ask your prospective employer these questions to find out if the role is the right fit for you.

WFA Schemes: Some companies will offer “Work From Anywhere” schemes. This means that you can travel abroad whilst working for a set amount of days or weeks every year without tax implications. Again, if a WFA scheme is important to you, make sure you ask exactly what this entails as each company will have different time limitations on how this benefit can be used. WFA schemes are a brilliant perk for those who love to travel or have family abroad and want to visit them more often without sacrificing their annual leave allowance.

Time flexibility

Part-time: If you’re looking to work on a part-time basis, this will be your main filter when searching for a new role. Similarly to location freedom, ask your prospective employer exactly how this will work so you can make sure it aligns with any other commitments you may have. 

Compressed hours: Differently to core hours, which gives you more freedom over your day, compressed hours gives you more freedom over your week. As long as you work the hours required in the week, you can stack these up however suits you best. Do longer days and take the Friday off or start later on Monday’s and make the time back throughout the week - whichever suits you best. 

Refine your search

Once you understand your desired flexibility, it's time to laser-focus your job hunt using our flexibility filters. For example, you can prioritise roles that offer remote work if location independence is key. Or you can hone in on flexible hours if you need an accommodating schedule.

Find out more about the companies that offer your ideal working environment by checking out their company pages and what their employees have to say about working there. This granular control ensures roles not only offer the right flexibility but also align with your interests and career goals.

Think outside the box

When looking for flexible roles, don’t always assume that tech companies and SMEs will be flexible and large corporations in other sectors won’t. You might be surprised but some of the most flexible companies are in industries you may not expect. Take Mars for example, a company with hundreds of thousands of employees in the FMCG sector and the number 1 most flexible large company in the UK. Prioritise the type of working environment you’re looking for over being set in stone over the industry, headcount, or even sector of a company you are searching for. 

Stay connected

When you identify promising flexible roles, look for ways to efficiently get noticed by hiring managers. Update your CV, cover letters, and portfolio samples to effectively showcase your qualifications through the lens of flexibility and work-life integration.

In today's work landscape, aligning your career with your lifestyle is becoming non-negotiable for many professionals' well being and job satisfaction. Using our lifestyle quiz and search filters you can streamline finding the balanced career opportunity you crave. Take full advantage of these resources and identify the flexibility you need to thrive.

Applying for your first flexible job

Once you’ve established all of the above, you’ll be ready to start searching for your first flexible job. You might be wondering, where do I find a flexible job? And how do I know if a job is flexible before applying? This is where Flexa Careers comes in. 

Flexa was built on the idea of removing the restrictions of the standard office 9-5, which doesn’t work for everyone. Flexa exists to empower people to find flexible work with truly flexible companies to best fit their needs. 

Finding a job with flexibility is simple with Flexa! Our platform offers comprehensive search filters to help you discover different types of flexible jobs, including remote-first roleswork-from-anywhere schemesdog-friendly officesfour-day weeks and more.

We've simplified the process into three simple steps to kickstart your search:

  • Start by creating a Flexa profile to stay updated on all available hybrid job opportunities, and even get recommendations straight to your inbox!
  • Explore our jobs page to see which companies are currently hiring. When you find a role you're interested in, simply click on it to read the full job description and hit 'apply now' when you're ready to submit your application.
  • If you're not ready to apply just yet, you can save the job to your profile for later. You can also browse all companies, check out their live feeds to get a glimpse of their work environment, and follow them to receive notifications when they're hiring.

How to ask for flexibility

If you've already accepted a job offer or are in a role where you want more flexibility, you can now ask about flexibility from the day you start.

The new UK flexible working legislation from April 2024 has simplified the process and made it easier for some. Unlike before, when you had to wait 26 weeks after starting employment to make a flexible working request, now you can ask for it from day one. Find out more about how to submit a flexible working request here.