An emerging class – downshifters

Downshifting is a philosophy. It is based on the belief that money is not earned for spending, but just for living. In other words, it means the minimisation of all expenses and substitution of them with various activities, which are possible to accomplish without money. Many people around the world choose this kind of a lifestyle often opposing their values, relevant to such kind of a slow and not expensive at the same time living to a bourgeois lifestyle or highly-paid professionals. Downshifting may be related to sustainable living as well in a form of consumption and repeated use of goods that were up-cycled. It may also have such social traits as living in a shared apartment (the conversation is not about students), refusal to use a car (not because of environmental beliefs, but because of economical reasons), preference given to second-hand clothes, tendency to have various hobbies (which do not bring money, but give a food for the soul), as well as many other characteristics related to saving (or escaping the need in) financial resources.

From the employment point of view downshifting often implies short-term, part-time work. Downshifters may choose a work in bars as waiters, bartenders, as cat and dog sitters, various one-time jobs like participation in some filming projects, any short qualified work if it is relevant to the education of a person, who is living a life of a downshifter, and any other non-qualified work as a source of income, which usually is never too stable. They can also be freelancers, e.g. designers, editors, copywriters, translators, who work distantly.

However, downshifters is an emerging social class, which fulfills its social roles that are on the top of many discussions, like friendliness to environment, slow living, sustainable and more conscious living. This is achieved by many who spend their free time on self-education, learning new things, and thinking. And this class is starting to dictate new rules to the economy, employers, and society in general creating bigger competition between many producers and service providers, which in turn have to adjust their offers to the audience that can substitute almost any product by making a purchase on the second-hand market or just by getting it from a friend, have to become more conscious about environment, and even have to change or create from scratch new philosophy of living and reformulate their marketing strategy. From the point of view of a workforce, it is a new share of potential employees, who have wider backgrounds, who are multi-task oriented, who are more demanding in respect to company values, and who are expecting to exchange their time not just for money, but for something else, often intangible.