Over the last three or four weeks, the man and I have been discussing the work life balance side of our lives. We know we want to work less to do more, but the big question is how? There is a tension here; we have to have an income to be able to afford the more. Not necessarily a huge income, but an income nonetheless.

There is a rider too: the work has to be enjoyable.

Coincidentally, the man is between contracts. That, folks, is the fickle nature of boat building: employment one day, none the next.* The man is realistic: it is time to shut the door on the industry and find another income stream.

We have therefore put our thinking caps on and after crunching some numbers to make sure it would indeed be feasible have come up with the following:

Working three days per week each will meet our needs of income and work life balance.

The man will be able to do this by being self employed. With design and construction skills at his fingertips, he is capable of building or renovating anything from boats to furniture to houses.* To begin with he will take on all types of work to get the income, providing of course it meets the rider: enjoyable. His ultimate goal is to build bespoke pieces, the majority to his own design. The plan is to segue into this. This will feed his soul.

For me, the reduced working week will mean a new position. With a few years in my present career under my belt, I know there are parts of the job that have appeal and parts that don’t so much. To this end, I have sat down and composed two lists; the ‘I love doing it’ one and its counterpart, the ‘When pigs fly’ version.  With these lists to guide me, I am adopting an open minded, dare I say it, empowered approach to searching for the three day a week job. This is a beginning. It is not my passion. I know what that is and I also know with certainty that by working in paid employment less, I will have time for it. This will feed my soul.

We are optimistic. It will work out.

* There are a few jobs around for composite boat builders, but little long term employment for the guys who specialise in wood.

** http://www.opuslibero.co.nz/ (the man has made some of the pieces for this company)