In this day and age, there is a lot of pressure on us to have a perfect career. From a young age, we are encouraged to think about what we would like to do for the rest of our lives. We think about our passions and what we enjoy doing. We also think about jobs that are rewarding in the financial sense. However, we often forget to consider jobs for work-life balance.
We neglect our personal lives in pursuit of a rewarding and engaging career. But that doesn’t have to be necessary. You can have a career that you find fulfilling and still find a good balance between what you do for a living and the way you live your life outside the office.
In this article, we will look at what it means to have a balance between your career and personal life. Then we will discuss ten jobs that encourage this kind of balance and five that don’t. After that, we will look at ways to improve your professional and private life balance no matter what your day job is, especially if you work remotely.
Work-Life Balance Definition
Balancing both your career and personal life means that you are able to live your life without sacrificing one for the other. For example, if you take your work home with you every single night or continue taking work calls over the weekend, you clearly lack balance. The balance between the two means that you are able to have a fulfilling private life without work taking over your personal time. It also means that you are able to stay fully focused during the time that you are meant to be working.
10 Top Jobs with Good Work-Life Balance
Recruiters (alternatively referred to as “headhunters”) are people who are hired by companies to help fill open positions. Their job is to find suitable candidates for the job and coach them through the interview process. Essentially, the company is the recruiter’s client, because they will earn a commission from the employer once they have found a suitable employee. However, recruiters also have a responsibility towards the job seeker. They need to portray the job in the correct way and advertise the position ethically.
Recruiters have good work and life balance, as they only work when others are at work. They are rarely required to work overtime, since job seekers and employers generally operate during the usual office hours. However, they are sometimes expected to see job searchers outside office hours, as they might still be employed, but on the whole, they rarely have to take their work home.
Recruiters can work independently, or they can work for an agency. They can work at the office, or they can do remote work. Those who work for themselves are more likely to work remotely and are therefore in charge of their own time. This can mean that they have more freedom to figure out how to balance work and life and still earn a good commission.
The average annual salary for a recruiter in the United States is $55,916.
2. Data Scientist
If you are interested in numbers, data, and how data can lead to real-life solutions, then data science may be the right career for you. Data scientists work with organizations to see how they can help solve problems using data. They look at sets of data and variables all day and come up with ways to improve the company they work for by using those sets of data. They check the authenticity of the data they work with, and they know the ins and outs of systems that may confuse others.
Data science is one of the best careers for work-life balance because data scientists rarely have to take work home with them. In fact, depending on what kind of data they are working with, they may not even be allowed to do that. On average, they will work during the office hours that their company adheres to. They will rarely be asked to work overtime, unless they are involved in an urgent project.
The average annual salary for a data scientist is $123,786, which makes it one of the high paying jobs with a good work-life balance.
3. Substitute Teacher
While full-time teaching is certainly not on the list of jobs that have a good balance between professional and personal life, substitute teaching is. When you are a substitute teacher, you don’t work for one school all the time. Instead, you get called in to fill in for teachers who are sick, on maternity leave, or unavailable for other reasons. You still fulfill all the duties of being a teacher, but you don’t necessarily work all the time or for one place for a longer period of time.
If you look at work-life balance stats, you will see that most substitute teachers manage to find a good balance. They are technically freelancers of the teaching world. While they take risks in regard to not having a full-time salary, they also have a lot of freedom. For example, they can easily pick up a side hustle or raise their children while being a substitute teacher.
The average pay for a substitute teacher is $66.30 per day.
If you have a good phone voice, a neutral accent, and enjoy speaking to people all day, then telemarketing may be for you. It was listed as one of the best jobs for work-life balance in 2019 by U.S.News, so you know it won’t take over your personal life. Telemarketers are hired by various companies to make sales over the phone, inform people about new products, or even just to check in with existing customers to see if they’re happy. They are generally given a script and a number of calls they need to make during a certain period.
Telemarketers never have to take their work home, which is why it is one of the best work-life balance jobs. You simply work your hours and leave work at the office. However, the trade-off is that there isn’t much growth in this career, and you will likely be in the same position, even after years of experience.
The average annual salary for a telemarketer is $25,250.
5. Fitness Instructor/Trainer
If you love all things fitness and want to share that love with the world, then fitness instructing or training may be what you are looking for. It’s also one of the careers with the best work-life balance. Fitness instructors and trainers usually work for a gym or hold classes at specific premises. However, they will often be able to choose when they work and will have limited hours in that regard. It does, of course, require a lot of physical activity, and you have to be good at motivating people.
Depending on where you work as a fitness instructor or trainer, you will likely be able to choose your own hours. That in itself is a great way to ensure that you put effort at work and also have a great life at home. In other words, you would receive all the benefits of work-life balance. However, keep in mind that fitness instructors often have to work evenings and weekends when other people are looking to train.
The average annual salary of a fitness instructor is around $41,272.
6. Beauty Therapist
If you have an eye for details and love nothing more than making other people as beautiful as they could possibly be, then you might want to try your hand at the beauty industry. You could either work from home (as long as you are willing to purchase the equipment and set aside an appropriate area for work), or you can get a job at a beauty salon. Either way, it’s one of the jobs with the best work-life balance.
As a beauty therapist, you would likely be working in shifts so that you can be there when people get off work or on weekends. However, these shifts are usually fair, and you can choose (or at least negotiate on) which days to take off. So, if you would like to be there to watch your children play soccer, or if you have a hobby that requires you to be free in the mornings, you can discuss this with your employer. Of course, it always depends on where you work, as with any job, you have to look at the best work-life balance companies to decide whether you want to work for a chain salon, a private business, or yourself.
The average annual salary for a beauty therapist is $60,030.
7. Registered Nurse
If you want to work in the healthcare sector, but don’t want your career to take over your life, then nursing may be what you are looking for. Nursing is a solid career with lots of opportunities in the United States, especially today. You would have to study nursing in order to become a registered nurse, but it would be worth it, as it is one of the best medical jobs for work-life balance. Out of all the careers in the healthcare industry, this is one with a great private life and job balance possibility.
You wouldn’t have the opportunity to work from home, but you could opt to be an at-home nurse, work at a care home, or choose to take up a position at the hospital. It’s a serious job that can be very stressful at times. However, you can always leave your job at the office and enjoy your time at home. So, consider becoming a nurse for work-life balance, as well as the fact that there are many jobs available for nurses in the US.
The average pay for a registered nurse in the United States is $33.68 per hour.
8. Dental Hygienist
Dental Hygienists work at dental practices and ensure that a person’s dental health is in order. They study for around three years, and they have to obtain a license after their studies. It’s a great job for people who enjoy being around other people and are passionate about dental health. For the most part, it’s one of the best work-life balance jobs that pay well. Because you would be working at a dental practice, you would only work during the office hours. This means that there is little to no work that needs to be taken home.
As mentioned, as a dental hygienist, you would only work during the hours that you are scheduled to work. You don’t have to see patients outside your regular hours unless it is agreed upon by both parties. It is very rare for a dental hygienist to work overtime. Dental hygienists know exactly how to achieve work-life balance.
The average pay for a dental hygienist is $38.52 per hour.
9. HR Manager
Human resource managers are the connection between the management of a company and the employees. They are in charge of recruiting, training, and motivating staff. If you are excellent with people, understand their needs, and know how to make use of people’s talents and passions, then HR management may be just the job you were looking for.
When it comes to the balance between having a career and having a personal life, you will find that HR managers can easily make it work. Of course, it does depend on the employer that they work for, which is why you should also look for companies with the best work-life balance to ensure it matches your expectations. It all depends on the company itself and the industry it is in. But, in general, when it comes to jobs with great work-life balance, HR management is one of the top careers.
The average annual salary for HR managers is $71,537.
For those who love numbers, logic, and order, bookkeeping is the perfect career. You would spend your time balancing the books, monitoring the cash-flow, and ensuring that all is as it should be in regard to the numbers. Bookkeepers don’t spend much time focusing on their jobs outside work hours, which is great for work-life balance and making sure you have enough time for your personal life.
You can even work remotely as a bookkeeper, which is great if you have kids and want to be home during the day. Of course, when you’re dealing with sensitive information, some companies may insist that you work at the office, but that all depends on where you choose to work. In general, you would rarely take work home with you or work outside regular hours, which is great when trying to figure out how to balance your professional and private life in the way that suits you best.
The average hourly pay for a bookkeeper is $17.91.
5 Jobs with the Worst Work-Life Balance
Surgeons are known for being notoriously busy. They work odd hours, and their work is intense and serious. While it’s not like they are going to be performing surgeries at home, they will likely take the trauma and emotional drainage from their day job home with them.
It takes years of law school and passing the bar exam before lawyers can even start their careers. These people work long hours, and their work is highly-focused and often very mentally draining. Lawyers are known for not having a good work and life balance, and they often take their work home. However, many find the job to be rewarding, both financially and intellectually.
The news doesn’t sleep, and that means that reporters are often chasing stories outside regular office hours. They have hectic deadlines, and they will often take work home with them. More than that, their jobs can even be dangerous, depending on where they work and the types of stories they work on.
Firefighters have a dangerous and time-consuming job. They work shifts that are mentally and physically draining, which means that they often need their time at home to recuperate. Firefighting is certainly not one of the best jobs for work-life balance. In fact, firefighters may find it difficult to have a routine in general, as they can work strange hours, depending on their position.
While being a pilot gives you the opportunity to travel the world and earn a good salary, it is not great if you want to have a thriving career as well as a rich personal life. Because pilots are often gone for days at a time, it can be difficult for them to have the best work-life balance. However, many pilots still manage to have happy personal lives, but to manage that, they need to have their priorities sorted out.
How to Balance Work and Family Life When You Work Remotely
Many people who seek out a good balance between their careers and private life choose to look for remote work. It is becoming increasingly popular, with 4.7 million Americans working remotely. However, when the lines between work and home are blurred, it can be difficult to find a work and home balance. So, if you have recently decided to start working remotely or are struggling to find the balance, here are some tips on how to make sure you have a good work-life balance while working remotely.
Separate your workspace from your home space.
As tempting as it might be to work from your bed, especially during cold winter days, this is something you should never do. In fact, you shouldn’t work at your dining room table either. Or in your entertainment room or kitchen. If you can, try to set up a home office where you can keep all your work materials, like your laptop and files. If you don’t have the space for a home office, take some time in the morning to set up an area that will become your home office for the day, even if you have to clear away your things when done. This promotes work and life balance.
Structure your day according to a routine.
The best way to separate your work-life from your personal life when working at home is to know what times you’re working and what times you’ve dedicated to your personal life. Try to start each day at the same time with the same tasks. For instance, you can start work at 8 am every day and check your email first. By doing the same thing at the beginning of each day, you’re training yourself to see that action as the shift into work mode. It’s vital to know the difference when you’re trying to figure out how to balance work and life. Additionally, you should do the same thing when you finish your work, so that you can easily shift back into home mode.
Make your working time known to your family and friends.
Let people in your life know what hours you consider to be your work hours. This way, they are less likely to pop by for a cup of coffee at the wrong time and break your concentration. And if you have children, this lets them know when you will be available and when they need to let you concentrate on your work. This is incredibly important for achieving balance while working from home.
What is work-life balance?
Career and life balance is when your job and your personal life carry equal weight in your life. Both are equally important, and to each is dedicated a healthy amount of time. When you’re with your family, you should be focusing on them. And when you are at work, regardless of whether you’re working at the office or from home, your focus should be entirely on your job.
Why is work-life balance important?
Balancing your career and your personal life is important for many reasons. For starters, if you focus too much on your career, you may end up losing the social connections you have and alienating yourself from friends and family. Another pitfall of not having this balance is that you could suffer from burnout. This means that your work takes over your life, and you end up using all your energy on your job, therefore not resting enough. Eventually, you would be drained and unable to positively contribute to your work anymore.
How to achieve work-life balance?
First of all, you need to set up boundaries between the time you spend at work and the time you have set aside for your personal life. It is important to know when you are meant to be working and when you are meant to be relaxing and recharging. This means that your employer needs to know that they can’t contact you during certain hours when you are enjoying time away from work. You should also let your family know when you will be working so that they don’t demand your attention during your working hours.
How to ask about work-life balance in an interview?
It can be difficult to sit in a job interview and ask whether the position allows for a positive balance between your career and your home life. However, there are questions that can give you an idea of whether it is one of the best work-life balance jobs. For example, you can ask: “What is the company culture like?” They might reply that they don’t believe in working too much overtime, or they might say that the job is stressful, but they have equal amounts of fun.
If you are looking for ideal jobs for work-life balance, you will likely find that the ten jobs mentioned above offer great work and home balance. Moreover, if you’re looking for jobs with great work-life balance, you probably don’t want to be a surgeon, lawyer, reporter, firefighter, or pilot. And if you’re working from home, keep the above tips in mind to make sure you can successfully balance careers and life.