The idea of a work-life balance has been a topic of discussion since the beginning of the century. It arose because automation has relieved human beings of many tedious chores. While few can dispute the value of the idea, it also remains something of a chimera because technology has also ensured constant electronic connectivity.
You can’t, for example, turn off your phone at 5 pm after you leave the office. You are always available on your mobile phone. Many millennials who are intent on changing the world of work have also come to the conclusion that the idea of a 9-5 workday itself isn’t realistic for a young professional with high ambitions in most careers. Your mobile connectivity means that you can always work from home on your laptop if you didn’t finish your project in the office.
On one hand, machines can do most of the heavy lifting, like sending out emails on schedule. On the other hand, we are more connected than ever before and work is no longer confined to an office. So while the idea of a work-life balance has yet to be fully realized in society, there are both non-technical and technical jobs that increase the likelihood of your balancing work with play and family time.
When it comes to non-tech jobs, it can be hard to find work that offers work-life balance. Most non-technical jobs have traditional work structures, lower pay rates, and inflexible schedules. However, here are three examples of non-tech work that offer some of the benefits of work-life balance.
- Massage Therapist
As a massage therapist, you often have enough flexibility to create your own hours and achieve some measure of work-life balance.
Essentially, you have a choice of two career paths open to you.
First, you could work for a business. You might work in the Medical & Health Care industry, in the Hospitality industry, or in the Sports & Fitness industry. Since the work is intense, you will not work a traditional 8-hour shift. Instead, flex-time is often the norm.
Second, you could be self-employed, either visiting clients with your portable massage equipment or owning your own clinic.
- Elementary School Teacher
While the work itself is enjoyable if you love children, the pay is lower than it should be and you put in many hours attending teacher meetings, preparing lessons, and grading your classroom assignments. Still, the bright side is wonderful: you will have three months of summer all to yourself and you are off work at 3 pm!
As a hairdresser, you will work in a salon. The work can be highly enjoyable if you love talking to people and getting to know them. However, full-time work can be exhausting because you are on your feet most of the day. Still, the hourly wage rate is high and customers often tip generously. Many hairdressers are self-employed, which means that they can choose their own hours.
With high-tech jobs, you may or may not achieve work-life balance. It all depends on the company you work for, but many high-tech companies pride themselves in creating an excellent corporate culture. The job itself can be intense and stressful, but in many tech jobs, you have the option to work from home on some projects. If you do work in an office, you will probably have a flex-schedule. In addition, you could also leverage your high-demand skills to create a lucrative freelance career.
- Data Scientist
If you find advanced mathematics and computer science fascinating, you could analyze data or predict market trends for companies. Besides a handsome salary and doing work that you enjoy, you will also have flexible working hours.
- Graphic Designer
Like other technical jobs, being a graphic designer allows you a lot of work flexibility, including working from home on client projects. You can also work as a freelancer, in which case you can set your own hours and pay. You might, however, have to meet with clients in the evenings or during the weekends. Your work might include visiting galleries and catching up on art exhibitions to stimulate new design ideas.
- Social Media Manager
If you enjoy chatting on social media websites and know your way around the many features of Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn, to name but a few popular platforms, you could help companies to grow their social media presence. Since much of this work is something that you can do from home, you will have plenty of opportunities to set your own schedule and achieve work-life balance.
Work-Life Balance: A Complicated Concept
When you start to think about it, the entire idea of achieving a work-life balance is a rather complicated one because there are so many issues at play. While companies need to meet their business goals to stay in business, employees need to have time for family, stay healthy through sports and recreational activities, and catch up on personal interests.
The most certain path to work-life balance is self-employment, especially working as a consultant, freelancer, or contractor. However, these jobs require a considerable amount of technical skills to earn enough working from home. The next best option is to find an employer who is willing to offer telecommuting options and flex-time.