Work-life balance has become one of the central issues of the 21st century. It’s an idea praised and discussed in countless articles, meetings, and studies. But in most jobs, the basics are fixed and there’s only so much you can do to change them. The problem is that the right balance between work and the rest of life is different for everyone. So what can you do to find your right formula and then live it? Start by choosing the right industry. Frankly, one of the best fields currently out there is freight brokering. Brokers somehow seem to have found the right formula for striking their own perfect balance. With new technology firmly on their side, and freight broker bonds ensuring high industry standards, today’s freight brokers are showing the rest of us how it’s done. But why are freight brokers particularly good at this?
1. Freight Brokers Can Define Success for Themselves
Henry David Thoreau knew it in 1854 and some of the most successful people in our society today know it now: defining your own success is critical to job satisfaction. Whether you’re struggling to meet someone else’s definition or feeling bored by low expectations, working under someone else’s ideas of success can negatively impact your work and your life. How do freight brokers avoid this? Whether you’re an independent broker or working as an agent for a company, you’re not working under quotas. Because you’re paid on commission, you can choose your own schedule; you’re in control of your salary and hours. So, if you need to work more one month, do it. If you need some time off to get some rest, no problem. You can even combine work and relaxation by working anywhere with an internet connection!
2. Work in an Office or At Home? How About Both?
It’s a cliche to point out that everyone’s work habits and preferences are different, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Most jobs force workers into a set work pattern and style, which works for some, but not for most. At the same time, while some people dream of working from home, for others it proves difficult. What’s great about being a freight broker is that the choice is totally yours. If you have a family, you can spend time with them by working from home. If you’re single and like working in a shared office space so that you can be around co-workers you enjoy, you can do that as well. You can even find some combination of the two, which works best for you. Knowing you have the option to change your work setting makes a huge difference. Thus, get yourself a 4G phone and go camping — you can work while fishing in the middle of a beautiful lake or under a sky full of stars — or make a habit of getting into the office every morning at 9. What matters most is that you figure out what works best for you.
3. Brokers Make Technology Work for Them, Not Vice-Versa
Many of us remember the era when technology promised to open up vast new swaths of leisure time. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. In today’s world, technology too often ends up allowing work to invade our personal time. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When you’re a freight broker, being available to your shippers and carriers is an essential part of the job. So, while for some industries this technological intrusion is a problem, for freight brokers, it makes accomplishing the basics simpler. At the same time, with the cost of brokering essentials (like a laptop, an internet connection, and a smartphone) decreasing all the time, technology is making brokering easier every year. When you combine this with the abundance of brokering software out there, it’s easy to see why brokers have technology on their side like a fairy godmother.
4. Freight Brokers Know When They Need a Team
For many people, what’s most appealing about being a freight broker is the independence it offers. But working on your own is often intimidating. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to be a fully independent broker, but still get the help and advice you need when you encounter difficulties like delinquent payments, complex software, or legal claims filed against you. This is where it becomes essential to build a solid network of support with people like your lawyers, long-term carrier partners, and your surety bond agency. For the latter, in particular, make sure you find a reliable agency with a positive attitude and the expertise to help you avoid claims and/or deal with them, if they should occur.
It All Comes Down to Flexibility
If you combine all these elements, it’s clear how freight brokers are able to maintain high levels of job satisfaction and great work-life balance. Because when it comes down to it, the key is having the flexibility to find what works for you and stick with it. There’s no one-size-fits-all work-life balance, so it’s always going to be tough for a company to create it from the top down. With brokering freight, you can craft the perfect job-style for your lifestyle. Whether you’re a freight broker or not, how do these elements factor into your work-life balance? Let us know what you think in the comments section.