Flex 2 Small

"Living the dream"

10 June 2019 by

Incredible opportunities on my terms...

"Living the dream"

Flex 2 Small

Joan Fahey Leadership, Customer, Digital...

"I Do Feel Like I’m Living The Dream’: How Paula Thomas Built An Incredible Career On Flexible Contracts"

Flexible working is about just that - flexibility. And where there’s flexibility there’s freedom, autonomy and ownership.

But those things don’t come easy; for freedom there must be trust, for autonomy there must be responsibility and for ownership there must be discipline. Remote and contract working isn’t all blue skies and beaches, it’s hard work and continuous self development. The opportunities to work from a hut in Bali follow only when these balances have been successfully nailed down. 

The transition is one that was planned meticulously by Paula Thomas. 

“I started consulting through the Alternatives Flexible Panel,” she tells us on the Alternatives podcast, Live Your Best Life, which she joined via a Skype call from her Dubai home.

“That was an easy way to get started. I knew I wanted that way of working. With the team there I was able to understand how that model works, how you engage with clients. Together we found some incredible projects that I got to work on and that gave me a sense that I was accountable to clients and what they needed.”

Now living in Dubai, Paula works on a freelance and flexible basis as a Marketing Consultant, specialising in content and loyalty – and while she has spent time working in more traditional settings, it was the excitement and diversity of contract jobs that helped her come into her own. 

“For me being a consultant is first and foremost is around variety,” she says. "There’s a huge amount of intellectual stimulation available by going from sectors. I have worked in telecommunications, in banking and in the energy sector.



Paula Thomas




An education in consultancy

“What I love is being able to understand what is happening in say telecoms, what kind of loyalty trends and insights are we getting and how can I use that to benefit my clients in other sectors.”
Paula credits those projects and short term contracts as her education in consultancy. As her reputation as a consultant grew, Paula was able to work on her own terms, from her desired locations. 

“I do feel like I’m living the dream in many ways. For various client projects I do have to be on site so I’m not travelling indefinitely, but for now the vast majority of my work is content and online and hopefully I can build on that going forward,” says Paula. 

“I’ve had a varied career,” she says. “I’m very much a freelancer and dare I say it, a free spirit.”

Paula is a guest on Episode 1 of Live Your Best Life, a podcast by Alternatives that takes a deep-dive into the world of flexible working.

Here's how you can tune in

Download our guide to flexible working

Visit this page for more information.