Do you have one of those bosses who think you should be available at all hours, making you miss your daughter's soccer game? Having a career and a life can be a challenge; maybe it's more money you're after, or maybe you're aching to work from home and avoid the cubicle nine-to-five. Chances are that when you started your career, you weren't thinking much about your lifestyle goals - but it's never too late to make your work fit your life instead of the other way around. Here are five careers to fit specific lifestyle goals, plus ways you might be able to make your existing job work better for you.

IN PICTURES: A Bigger Salary Or Better Benefits?

  1. Lifestyle Goal: More Time with the Family
    Working parents know there's nothing worse than missing an important game or other kids' milestone because you have to work. Maybe you just want more time to do simple things with the kids - more time with the family is on many people's list of lifestyle goals. If you're looking for a career change, consider healthcare support, a sector expected to increase by 50% by 2018 according to the Department of Labor. With increased demand comes increased flexibility; many of these hourly-paid positions contain shift hours you may be able to work around your kids' or spouse's schedule.
    Other family-friendly occupations include work-at-home positions like freelance writing, customer service support or IT positions. If a career change (and possible pay cut) isn't in the cards for you, consider talking to your boss about changing your hours - a 10-hour, four-day work week may suit - or working from home part-time.

  2. Lifestyle Goal: More Money
    Tired of being broke, struggling to make ends meet even though you're working hard? Look no further than healthcare jobs for the best pay - though you'll want to skip the aide and assistant positions. It's those glamorized surgeons that make the big bucks: expect an average of $220,000 in salary if you're licensed to wield a scalpel. If blood and guts aren't your idea of a great day at the office, or you can't afford the high price of medical school, consider a petroleum engineer at $119,960.
    Just remember: that big fat paycheck usually comes with high education requirements, long hours and high stress.

IN PICTURES: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

  1. Lifestyle Goal: Less Stress
    Let's face it: work is stressful, no matter what you do for a living. Maybe your job is just too much. Consider a career as an education consultant if your blood pressure rises just a little too high in your current position. Sixty percent of education consultants consider their job low stress according to CNNMoney, since they train corporate employees who are happy they're there to train them. CNNMoney lists other low-stress jobs as a physical therapist, college professor or software developer. (If stress is a deal-breaker for you, check out these great career options in 5 High-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs.)

  2. Lifestyle Goal: Helping Others
    Your job's okay, but maybe there's something missing. You feel like you're just another rat in the race - really, you'd like to help others and make a difference. The healthcare field is an obvious choice (try the low-stress physical therapist job, for instance), but you can also look at any other public service job, like firefighter, policeman or teacher - all offer high job-satisfaction when it comes to feeling you're making a difference.
    If a complete change of career path is not in the cards for you, look at starting a volunteer event like Habitat for Humanity, or another way to get involved in the community, either through work or during your off time. Those volunteer positions often turn into paid ones, so don't dismiss working for free as a career advancement move. (For a related reading, see Social Finance Careers: Creating A Better World.)

  3. Lifestyle Goal: Working From Home
    Imagine your work day: you get up, pour yourself a cup of coffee and go to work in your sweatpants. With your office right at home, there are no office politics, no traffic jams and no endless meetings that seem to go nowhere. If working from home is your dream, think consultancy: the Department of Labor expects this sector to grow a staggering 83% by 2018. (Managerial, financial and professional consultants will see the earnings, so if you're already working in this field, you may want to start planning your exit from the rat race. (For more, check out 7 Things You Need To Know About Working From Home.)

The Bottom Line
Matching your lifestyle goals is the quickest path to job satisfaction, something we all strive for. Look to these career suggestions if you're ready to change your life for the better, and go to work with a smile on your face.

For the latest financial news, check out Water Cooler Finance: Google Shakes Things Up.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Career Choice: Bulge Bracket Vs. Boutique Bank

    Bulge bracket banks offer higher salaries and prestige. But boutique banks are rapidly gaining market share and may offer better work/life balance and job security.
  2. Personal Finance

    Careers: Equity Research Vs. Investment Banking

    Equity research is sometimes viewed as the unglamorous, lower-paid cousin to investment banking. In this article, we compare the two careers.
  3. Retirement

    Why are 401(k) contributions limited?

    Find out why contributions to 401(k) retirement plans are limited, including what the current contribution limits are and how limits encourage participation.
  4. Investing

    7 Reasons You Will Make a Good Investment Banker

    Many seek at the door of investment banking, but few can enter. Possessing these seven traits will help you land a job and succeed in investment banking.
  5. Investing

    7 Reasons Investment Banking Is Not for You

    Even if you possess the education, experience and enthusiasm to land a coveted investment banking gig, here are seven reasons to find another career.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Why Walmart Raised Its Minimum Wage

    Read about the potential pros and cons of Walmart's promise to increase its minimum starting salary to $10 an hour.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Millennials Guide: Freelancer vs. Employee

    How to decide if joining the gig economy is right for you.
  8. Savings

    All About Income

    Income is the money you or a business earns by providing goods or services, or through investments.
  9. Personal Finance

    The 10 Must Watch Movies For Finance Professionals

    Finance makes for great cinema; here are 10 of the best offerings by Hollywood on the subject.
  10. Insurance

    Healthcare Premiums Keep Rising, But Salaries Aren’t

    Learn how college and health insurance costs have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated, and how, given the necessity of these services, consumers are stuck.
  1. Advanced Diploma In Insurance

    A qualification earned by insurance professionals and conferred ...
  2. Associate In Personal Insurance ...

    A designation earned by professionals looking for training in ...
  3. Back Pay

    The amount of salary and other benefits that an employee claims ...
  4. Associate In Reinsurance (ARe)

    A designation earned by insurance professionals looking for reinsurance ...
  5. Associate In Surplus Lines Insurance ...

    A designation earned by insurance professionals involved with ...
  6. Payroll Card

    A prepaid card onto which an employer loads an employee’s wages ...
  1. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between AGI (adjusted gross income) and gross income?

    In the United States, individuals pay taxes based on their adjusted gross income, or AGI, rather than their gross income. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the best MBA programs for corporate finance?

    Opinions vary based on which publications you consult, but the best MBA programs for a career in corporate finance are at ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How stressful is the typical corporate finance job?

    In the financial industry, corporate finance jobs are often contrasted with investment banking jobs. The traditional view ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What should I study in school to prepare for a career in corporate finance?

    Depending on which area you want to specialize in, corporate finance can be one of the most competitive fields in business. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified ...

    The differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) are many, but comes down ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!