WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 29, 2015
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These Are the Top 10 Jobs for Work-Life Balance

Do you ever work until very late at night? Do you, more often than not, work at the weekends? Check your emails on holiday?

Consider yourself lucky if you work a 40-hour week. Most of us work more. A study by the accountancy and advisory services firm Ernst and Young found that a third of workers (33 percent) believe that maintaining a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives has become more difficult, with the younger generations and parents experiencing the most difficulty. Millennials have seen their hours go up more in the last five years, at a time when many of them are either starting families or moving into positions of responsibility such as management (nearly half of millennial managers reported an increase in hours compared with nearly two in five Gen X adults and 28 percent for Boomers.)

See Also: 5 Work-Life Balance Hacks for The Digital Age

The study surveyed 9,700 adults between the ages of 18 and 67 employed in a variety of organisations in a range of countries and also revealed that almost half of managers around the world are working in excess of a 40-hour week. Millennials, in particular, are bothered by this state of affairs: finding ‘me time’ is nigh on impossible for millennial parents in America who are managers –  at least for 76 percent of them, and more than three in five of them aren’t getting enough sleep (67 percent). Other areas of difficulty when trying to achieve work-life balance are finding time for family and friends and handling extra responsibility.

The Ernst and Young study highlighted a gap between those who want greater flexibility to manage their work-life balance and a company’s willingness to offer more flex time. Almost one in six millennials say that they have experienced a “negative consequence” as a result of having greater flexibility in their work schedule, borne out in being overlooked for a promotion, not receiving a pay rise, being assigned to less interesting tasks and being publicly reprimanded.

Although some respond to the challenges by quitting their jobs – two of the top five reasons cited in the study for people quitting their jobs were “excessive overtime hours” and “a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly”, others simply target jobs that offer a great work-life balance.  Below are ten jobs that offer a healthy work-life balance, based on the job site Glassdoor’s survey of around 60,000 company reviews. To be considered for inclusion in their survey, a job title had to have a minimum of 75 work-life balance ratings ((Ratings based on Glassdoor’s 5-point scale: 1.0: very dissatisfied, 3.0: OK, 5.0: very satisfied) over the past year from at least 75 companies, and the jobs had to have “work-life balance” as a benefit of the job in at least 15 percent of the reviews. A final criterion was that the jobs had to have at least 200 openings, ie active job listings on the company’s site as of October 1, 2015.

Below are the top ten jobs where employees report a healthy work-life balance. Read on to see which job offers the best work-life balance.

10. Web Developer

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8
  • Salary: $66,040

Web developers create websites that are targeted to their client’s market.  Many web developer jobs offer work-from-home options. Web development can be challenging (many involve business development), and Glassdoor users rated the work-life balance of web developer jobs as “OK”.

9. Marketing Assistant

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8
  • Salary: $32,512

Marketing assistant jobs usually provide lots of variety and opportunities to progress into related fields, such as PR and management. A marketing coordinator at Gensler commented on the “very reasonable hours” at the company; other reviewers variously describe the job of marketing assistant as one involving “high levels of teamwork”. According to Total Jobs, hours are usually 9-5, five days a week, although extra hours may be required towards campaign deadlines.

8. Digital Marketing Manager

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9
  • Salary: $70,052

Digital marketing managers work to promote the products and services of their clients online. This typically involves working with a team of web designers, copywriters and other staff. One digital marketing manager at Intercontinental Hotel Group, writing on Glassdoor, commended the company’s “flexible working approach and realistic understanding of work-life balance.”

7. UX Designer

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9
  • Salary: $91,440

The job of a UX designer is to enhance the usability of the customer experience (hence the title: user experience designer). A senior UX designer at phone company EE highly rated the company’s work/life balance, highlighting the “priority” afforded to it. Another UX designer, working for the company Improbable, described a friendly and “super flexible” working environment at the organisation.

6. Recruiting Coordinator

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9
  • Salary: $44,700

Also referred to as trainee recruitment consultants and talent acquisition coordinators, recruitment coordinator jobs are highly regarded by Glassdoor users. One Glassdoor user working at Forrester left the following review: “The work/life balance is unlike any company I’ve ever worked at”, adding that, in spite of the low pay, “the work/life balance and culture make up for it.” 

5. Teaching Assistant

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  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9
  • Salary: $24,380

Teaching assistant jobs look like a good bet for work-life balance, although they may not rank as highly for salary. One teaching assistant on Glassdoor reported that “sometimes there wasn’t quite enough to do here”; to some people this would suggest a good work-life balance.

4. Social Media Manager

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.0
  • Salary:  $40,000

Social media managers are responsible for the strategy and management of their client’s or employer’s content. One Glassdoor reviewer described the job as “low stress”.

3. Talent Acquisition Specialist

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.0
  • Salary: $63,504

Sifting through hundreds of resumes may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but talent acquisition specialists typically leave work at work on a Friday night and rarely do overtime hours. Although talent acquisition specialists may have periods in which their workload may increase significantly, this does not appear to affect the overriding impression of good work-life balance.

2. SEO Manager

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.1
  • Salary: $45,720

Search engine optimization managers use a range of approaches to get search engines to promote a business’s site up in the first listings. An SEO manager working at Forward3D offered the following opinion on Glassdoor: “I don’t see any cons”.

1. Data Scientist

  • Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.2
  • Salary: $114,808

To quote IBM, a data scientist “represents an evolution from the data analyst role”. In addition to mathematics and statistical modelling ability, data scientists are required to have sound commercial acumen, which enables them to add value to the commercial interests of their company. According to a Quora user (and data scientist), they work on only a few projects at a time, which presumably contributes to their high work-life balance rating. Data scientist are in-demand jobs, as indicated by the 1,315 openings on Glassdoor.

See Also:  The Myth of Work-Life Balance

These jobs, representing a broad range of professions, are in –demand, which incentivises employers to offer flexible working as a benefit (if a candidate is a good fit, an employer will do whatever it takes to secure their services) and offers employees a bit of wiggle room when negotiating greater flexibility. Jobs that offer the freedom to work a few days away from home are particularly work-life boosting, not least because they offer freedom away from the seemingly endless request for meetings and the oft-cited annoyances of being in the office.

Which jobs would you add to this list? Add your comments to the box below.

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