If you enjoy raffles, sweepstakes and contests—and if you telecommute, use a virtual office, or participate in some other type of alternative workplace strategy your company has launched, you can enter to win valuable prizes.

Actually, even if you don’t telecommute, use a virtual office, or participate in some other type of alternative workplace strategy, you can still enter to win. All you have to do is dream a little.

Think about your answer to this question: What would a flexible job mean for you? Put another way, ask yourself this: What would a work/life balance job mean to you? After you’ve given it some thought, write an essay that answers that question and you could win $500 in cash to spend on whatever you want.

FlexJobs, a Web site for finding part-time, telecommuting, freelance and other flexible work, is offering three cash prizes for the best essays that answer the question. First prize takes home $500. Second place gets $250. And third place gets $100.

"Many of the job seekers who come to FlexJobs are passionate about jobs that allow them a better work-life balance or accommodate their lifestyle in other ways," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. "We are excited to read and share the many stories and different motivations for work flexibility... and hopefully in turn, inspire others as well!"

You don’t need anyone to tell you how important flexible work schedules are. Working from a virtual office lets you spend more time with your family, be there in emergencies or for special events, or even maintain a job as a military spouse who is often transferred with their serving husband or wife.

"We have spoken with thousands of job-seekers over our four years of helping people find flexible jobs," says Fell. "And what we consistently hear is that people want to find a better balance between their personal lives and their work lives. I don't think I've ever spoken to someone who doesn't want more balance!"

Read to enter? Essays should be no more than 1,000 words in length. The deadline for submission is November 30th, 2012.

A team of panelists, including FlexJobs staff, will be thoroughly reading and narrowing down the finalists. In addition to the three main winners, four additional outstanding finalists will receive a free year subscription to FlexJobs.