Quality of Life Fast-Becoming a Major Factor in Career Choice

Home-based careers like copywriting, with less-stress and financial rewards, offer ideal work-life balance for many.

Joe Lilli, 66, used to face a long commute to a stressful 8 to 5 job he didn’t enjoy. But this American Writers & Artists Institute member has traded it in for a career in which he has control over his schedule, allowing him to spend quality time with his family and enjoy life in the Texas Hill Country.

“Enjoying the writer’s life means I don’t have to burn myself out with all work and hardly any play,” says Joe. “It means I don’t have to settle for daydreams about taking time off with my family for a week in the mountains or a week at the beach. I can actually head to the mountains or the beach whenever the mood strikes … to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.”

Joe is one of many people – too young for retirement, but not content with continuing a standard, unfulfilling career – who are making the leap to home-based freelance opportunities. Joe is a copywriter, a freelance career that’s easy to get involved in and earn an income in a very short time.

Although the money side of these freelance writing careers is very good, the appeal is primarily the lifestyle. Freelance copywriters treasure the ability to work wherever and whenever, with no “boss,” endless meetings, or corporate hassles. Instead of commuting on crowded highways, they rise when they want and walk to their home office or make their way to a local coffee shop to work. It’s up to them.

In fact, many new copywriters and other freelance writers are “refugees” from previous lives in the corporate world. And they are happy to work longer in their new “jobs,” well past when most of their peers are retired, because they enjoy the work so much.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17.4 percent of the labor force in 2010 was people aged 65 and older. That’s up from 12.9 percent in 2000.

Many of those people simply enjoy working. A study by Boston College found that 89 percent of older workers liked their jobs and are content with working longer.

What makes a job enjoyable? Independence from the traditional worker/supervisor relationship, say those polled by CareerCast.com in a recent survey. The ability to control one’s own destiny and be free from the threat of downsizing are others.

Suzanne Mulligan, 59, a grant writer and American Writers & Artists Institute member, reports:

“I'm so happy to be my own boss! My staff includes a golden retriever and a calico cat. I have the flexibility to work as hard as I want while at the same time having time for my new grandchildren.”

For many, it doesn’t seem like work at all, and they are happily making extra income in their retirement years without much effort.

Speaking of income … as a copywriter, annual income can hit the mid-five figures very quickly, for even part-time work. For example, copywriters who specialize in writing autoresponders, emails sent automatically to prospects by online businesses, can easily make $1,000 for a short series of one-page emails. And those writers who create content-rich websites – no tech knowledge needed, just writing expertise – can make just as much each month for just a few hours work a week.

Salaries of $100,000 or more are quite common for those copywriters who put in more time, even for those with just a few years in the industry. Gail Glanville, 69, a member of American Writers & Artists Institute, has set a goal of making $160,000 this year in her niche of health services.

But as with many freelancers, the money is not her primary motivation for staying in this career.

“I buy more flowers, entertain more, enjoy life more---because I'm doing something that is fulfilling and satisfying,” says Gail. “I've been able to provide more financial and motivational support to my family, because of what I've earned and learned.”

For more information about freelance opportunities in copywriting, visit:


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: January 25, 2013

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