Swindon is home to over 233,000 citizens according to the last census. This makes it a large city with plenty of opportunities for locals. Given its proximity to London, there are also many chances to dive into the big-city life for shorter and longer stints of time. This makes it easy to explore hobbies and career paths in either setting.
But what about the growing number of UK citizens who are choosing to target remote work? According to the Office for National Statistics, around 44% of workers are splitting their time between the office and home as hybrid workers. A total of 56% have only spent one day in the office per week since January 2023.
Clearly, there’s a growing emphasis on staying at home. However, not all employees are looking to stick with their traditional career path now that new ways of working and new job titles are emerging. If you’ve ever wondered how this new echelon of workers is staking their claim in the world of remote jobs, then you might be surprised to learn that these opportunities are far more accessible than you would have thought.
Remote Champions: Gaming Qualifiers & Competitions
Gaming is one of the hottest new career paths to open up over the last decade. Across the UK, over 130 universities offer computer games design as a subject, focusing in on the more creative aspect of gaming. Another five offer three-year degrees in eSports, which are specifically geared toward competitive gamers. There’s even a College of Esports.
In reality, it’s worth noting that competitive gaming isn’t actually new. Professional gamers have been staking their claim for decades—in the world of competitive poker, of course. The first major competition was held back in 1979 with the first World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Today, competitive poker has diversified greatly. Hobbyist players are able to advance toward regional competitions through virtual qualifiers. For example, the upcoming UKIPT Brighton event will be hosted in September here in the UK. Players who enter the official tournament floor will have qualified in a variety of ways, including open ‘satellite’ events, which are open to remote competitors.
Living Room Startups: Pitching a Golden Idea
Video games and poker are two great examples of flipping a serious hobby into a profession. But what about those with more straightforward business ideas? Interestingly enough, one booming remote opportunity is the chance to pitch ideas at virtual ‘startup competitions’. This type of competition allows individuals to out-pitch others in the hopes of gaining funding.
If it sounds like a niche opportunity, keep in mind that there are dozens of contests hosted each year around the world. Furthermore, there are usually niches for each competition that simplify the process of figuring out which are worth entering. So, if you’ve had an idea that just won’t seem to let you go, then consider entering your name and business idea at an upcoming contest.
Modern Craftspeople: Flipping Hobbies into Businesses
There’s never been a better time to have a niche hobby. Just like we highlighted above in terms of business pitches, there’s unprecedented interest in specialized approaches to a variety of topics. Specifically, there’s been a boom in handcrafted goods. This is largely thanks to vendor platforms like eBay and Folksy, which have simplified the process of selling goods from home.
Today, there are dozens of platforms that allow you to launch a virtual store. Just like pitch contests, some are geared toward specific products. Additionally, there are more apps than ever before that make it easy to manage inventory, ship goods nationally and internationally, and even handle at-home accounting tools for first-time business owners.
Keep in mind that many vendors also mix their sales with in-person craft events and festivals. In other words, craftspeople are usually hybrid workers who will occasionally sell goods in person at events like the Festival of Crafts in Farnham, Makers Central in Birmingham, and Handmade in Britain in Chelsea.