Everybody at some point faces a common dilemma – how to manage the many competing demands in work and at home, and strike a balance between professional and personal life.
The choice of profession can play a crucial role in achieving but also maintaining a work-life balance. In this article, you’ll discover the best job for work life balance, and why choosing one of them can positively influence both your career and personal life.
6 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance
Freelancer – Architect of Your Own Fortune
Being a freelancer isn’t strictly a job, but rather the way you do your work. You can offer any services you’ve mastered to your clients, and use the freedom and flexibility associated with running a freelance business to achieve a better work-life balance.
As a freelancer, you get to set your own schedule, place of work, and dedicate your time, skills and effort to projects you enjoy (you could even outsource the tasks you don’t). Being your own boss, having autonomy over your workload, and increased flexibility over your time and location, can help you juggle the demands of your professional and personal lives. However, to benefit from these things as a freelancer, you need to use them in your favour. Without knowing how to be productive as a freelancer, and practicing self-motivation and discipline, it can be a tough balancing act indeed.
If you want to know more about being a freelancer, check our article on the pros and cons of freelancing. We’ve also compiled a comprehensive overview of the top freelance jobs, the skills you need to perform them, and how to acquire these skills.
Of course, all of the jobs listed below can be done both as a freelancer or an employee – the choice is yours!
Graphic Designer – Bring Colour to Life
As a graphic designer, you can create posters, product packaging, logos, and marketing materials for brands and companies. Especially digital design is increasingly at the forefront of graphic design work. Graphic designers with skills in website, application, and virtual design, as well as in animation are always in high demand.
If you truly love design, you likely won’t leave this job every day feeling like all you did were the same boring tasks. Projects and their individual demands will often change, and by the very nature of the job, employers or clients expect you to be creative. It’s also very rare for a “graphic design emergency” to happen in the middle of the night. This means that when you’re done for the day or have days off, you can truly switch off and enjoy your personal time as you wish.
Web Designer – Creator of Online Presence
Web design encompasses multiple skills, but generally, you’ll be responsible for designing and building the interface, navigation, and functionality of websites for businesses or individual clients. As part of the job, you’ll either use drag-and-drop tools to piece them together, or write custom code to build them from scratch. You’ll design new pages and improve old ones, including the optimisation of sites for speed and scalability.
Pursuing a web design career lets you show off both your creative and technical talents while having plenty of autonomy. Being creative and constantly learning new things combined with the potential flexibility of working hours and workplace (and your choice of projects if you’re a freelancer), can help you keep a satisfactory balance between your work and personal life.
SEO Specialist – Web Optimisation Guru
Your role as an SEO specialist is to optimise websites and their content to rank highly on search engines and drive in more visitors. To do this, you’ll need to learn what search engines look for when ranking web pages – this is something that has distinct fundamentals but is also ever-evolving. This means constant learning and trying out new strategies, such as on-page, technical, or off-site SEO.
This type of work doesn’t require you to be tethered to your computer beyond the hours outlined in your work contract or agreed with your clients. By its very nature, SEO is an experimental and relatively slow process, meaning there’s rarely a rush to a pre-defined deadline. This way, you shouldn’t have to worry about receiving emergency calls while you’re with your friends or family. As a freelancer, you can be also very flexible while providing SEO services, both in terms of time and location.
You could also consider becoming a freelance SEO copywriter, where you can leverage your SEO knowledge in combination with copywriting skills to craft highly-optimized website content. It’s a combination of skills that will give you an advantage in a competitive writing market.
UX or UI Designer – Create the Best Digital Experience
The role of a user experience (UX) designer is to ensure that applications, websites, and other software products are easy and enjoyable to use. You make sure that users are able to pleasantly and efficiently use the product for its intended purpose. As a UX designer, your role will be more analytical and technical than as a user interface (UI) designer – a UI designer focuses on the visual and artistic aspects of the product’s design.
Both UX and UI designers often have the possibility to work remotely or on a freelance or consulting basis, and enjoy a great variety of flexible working conditions. This can be very helpful while juggling the demands of professional and personal life. UX and UI designers can also expect to enjoy a variety of work, in different sectors and industries, facing new challenges to take on.
Computer Programmer – Code Your Future
Computer programmers write and test the code that runs computer applications and various other software. You’ll be responsible for writing new code from scratch, identifying and fixing programming errors, as well as updating and securing existing software.
As a programmer, you have the ability to do your work from anywhere and potentially have plenty of control over your schedule and lifestyle. Having said that, software development is far from easy, with frequent challenges and stress. This alone can make sustaining work-life harmony harder. Overall though, experienced programmers are always in high demand, which results in often competitive pay that means you won’t necessarily need to work full-time to live comfortably.
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance can be understood as just that – the balancing act between professional duties and personal time. Ideally, it leads to job satisfaction in the office and private enjoyment at home with a minimum of conflict between these spheres.
A healthy work-life balance is when your work interacts positively with all the other activities in your life in accordance with your current life priorities.
Factors Affecting Work-Life Balance
Pursuing any particular career isn’t an automatic guarantee of a good work-life balance – however, some jobs offer more than others to help achieve it. Below are some of the positive and negative factors in which a job can make or break your work-life harmony.
|Negative factors for work-life balance||Positive factors for work-life balance|
|Mismanagement of workload||Control over workload|
|Constant availability||Flexible working hours|
|Lack of knowledge towards the work||Learning opportunities|
|Boundaryless working hours||Flexibility of location|
|Time pressure||Work autonomy|
Consequences of Work-Life Balance and Lack of It
A healthy work-life balance creates a number of positive consequences for you, and therefore also the work you produce, stimulating the development of your career or business. On the other hand, an imbalance between work and personal life doesn’t just impact your work negatively, but also your health and emotional well-being.
If work-life harmony isn’t maintained, it can lead to negative consequences such as high stress levels, poor productivity, health conditions, disruption of relationships with family and friends, and generally much lower work and life satisfaction.
|Consequences of work-life balance||Consequences of work-life imbalance|
|Job engagement||Decreased productivity|
|Mental resilience and attention||Poor performance|
|Job satisfaction||Low job and life satisfaction|
|Increased productivity||Increased absenteeism|
|Meaningful relationships with family and friends||Emotional and physical exhaustion|
|Emotional stability||Health disorders|
FAQ – Work-Life Balance For Freelancers
The best jobs for work-life balance are, in particular, graphic designer, UI and UX designer, SEO specialist, programmer, or web designer. They can all offer autonomy and flexibility due to their mostly digital nature, while being overall creative and great choices for people who love to learn and grow within their field of choice. All of this is especially true if you’re working on a freelance basis!