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Hey agile (nomadic, mobile, fabulous) working Permies! Tell us about what you do!

 
gardener
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There are different words for this phenomenon, but agile work is just being able to work wherever you want to. Sometimes that can mean a different place every day, sometimes it just means you can live out in the country and not have to be at an office. Unlike a cottage industry, where you may be tied to a specific place because of inventory or equipment, agile workers are not tied anywhere (except, perhaps, by internet connections)
Currently more people are allowed to work from home and experiencing just how nice it can be.

Are you an agile working permie? What do you do?
 
Tereza Okava
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I know I'm not the only one, but since I'm here I may as well say something.
I am a translator in a very specific niche, and I've been mobile for the last 13 years, which has been very helpful in terms of moving from country to country. I used to work in a lot more areas (I am certified to interpret in court, I used to work with other languages, I also used to do voice over work and interpreting) but as time has passed I have gotten more and more specific and only work in my niche (which is pretty common in my field). Every year (except 2020) I usually take a month and go stay with my mother, which is just a question of giving up my extra monitors and fancy office setup to work at her dining room table while I'm there (and maybe cut my schedule a bit so I can hike, kayak, etc).
In the past I worked for other companies, but I formed my own company some years ago, in my market that status is essential (companies can't use freelancers without corporate status as a contractor). It's also seen as separating professionals from the "side gig" crowd: if you go ahead and incorporate you're probably much more committed to doing a decent job (and have better skills and tools) than someone who is doing this just for fun.
With Covid-19 many people are finally understanding what it means to work from home, and I hear fewer jokes about me "playing on the internet" and people assuming that just because I'm home working that means I'm watching TV on the couch all day. My workday is super structured, I use a lot of tools to use my time efficiently, and lately I've been happy to share ideas with people who are interested in continuing to work at home after all this passes. I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
pollinator
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I have made my living as a freelance writer for decades. The flexibility and portability are gold. I can't imagine being stuck in a cubicle 9-to-5; I would surely break out in hives. I find that genuine productive time in an office is 4-5 hours maximum; the rest is eaten by mind-numbing meetings and endless distractions.

The freedom of freelancing is balanced by the irregular income and inevitable lean years. Financial discipline equals survival; it's not unusual to be unemployed for half a year after finishing a large multi-year project. Freelancers don't last long if they are in the habit of racking up credit card debt.

The real money is in the corporate and government fields, if you can play that game. (The internet swallowed conventional publishing in one gulp by destroying the business model.) Technical writing in particular earns a nice dollar for those with a good grasp of the subject matter and the ability to marry it to adult education principles and clear communication. The field seems to have two streams -- industrial and software, with very different base skill sets.

Contacts and referrals are everthing. I haven't updated my CV or cold called since forever. This may change, because Covid makes it difficult cultivate my list of contacts (beer and wings). That's a concern, but it's also an opportunity to pursue potential side hustles.

Since what I do is a specialty, I can earn my modest base income from one billable day per week. Two days is pretty posh. And I can duck out to water the tomatoes whenever I want to.  
 
pollinator
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Hi Tereza.  I just got made fun of today by an old man that has to go to work everyday.  As I walked by he said " how do you get to work when ever you want?  Aren't you special?".  I understand he doesn't mean any harm, he is jealous.  I am 45 and work for a company about 3 days a week.  I don't need the money without debt.  I keep up on my engineering skills and am able to foot the medical by working a little bit.  I am spoiled by my wife's teaching job in that I don't even need medical if I choose. The main things I think that hold people back are debt and medical.  I spend the rest of my time working on the homestead.  My wife and I figured I work about 24 hours a week at engineering and around 60 hours a week homesteading.  I like to work so it's ok with me.  Most people I know from church watch about 4 hours of tv a day.  I watch no tv and this gives me 28 extra hours to learn.  For the most part people around me don't understand me.  Some say I am lazy, some say I am crazy, and some say I am not fulfilling my corporate duty.  I get told I need to do things a certain way or I am not a good husband and father.  It would be easy for me to ask them when was the last week they worked over 80 hours and rebuke them, but I have learned to walk away.  I am so lucky to have a wife that understands and participates with me.  Many nights we will eat only what we grew.  My son at the age of 16 has made a good living at selling lots of homestead staples and niches.  I keep teaching him he doesn't need to be rich and no debt keeps you free.  In the cool of evening when I am done I get to look out across the farm and a great thankfulness often overtakes me.  I often think, how does a little person like me get to do such great things like this!
 
Tereza Okava
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Hi-5 Christopher, I can sympathize with so much of what you say!!!
There is a lot of jealousy out there, isn't there? I also know it's not for everybody (like you say, there's a lot of work out there, and heaven knows I'm doing it! I started at 6am yesterday and went til 7pm, somehow managed to clean out the rabbit cages, make dinner, and exercise during the day too) and many people who try it on a more serious basis find they prefer to have someone doing the managing for them (or other tasks). And that's fine- I prefer to pay to go to the gym, which makes sure I get there. Different strokes.

I do hear you on the not watching TV though. I may as well be a three-headed unicorn among most of the people I know because of that. It is amazing how many hours get added to the day when that's one less thing demanding your time. And I'm also super blessed to have a kid who has picked up not just that preference but also a similar work ethic.
 
I am going down to the lab. Do NOT let anyone in. Not even this tiny ad:
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https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
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