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?
- 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.
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
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