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 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.
- Being stuck in a job you don't like may mean your work life doesn't jive with your lifestyle goals.
- If you feel as though money isn't always everything, it may be a good idea to reevaluate where you are in your career.
- If you value giving back to others or being philanthropic, you may want to find work helping others.
- If you favor work-family balance and lower levels of stress, you may want to consider jobs that are less demanding or more flexible on your schedule.
- Consider working remotely or switching careers that will allow you to work from home.
1. More Time With the Family
Working parents know there's nothing worse than missing an important game or another milestone in their kids' lives because of work. Maybe you just want more time to do simple things with the kids, as more time with the family is on many people's lists of lifestyle goals.
If you're looking for a career change, consider a health care support position, such as a home health or personal care aide, a job expected to increase by 25% between 2021 and 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With increased demand comes increased flexibility. Many of these hourly-paid positions contain shift hours that allow you 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 workweek may be an option. Or maybe your company will allow you to start working from home on a part-time basis.
Try writing down your goals and putting them up where you'll consistently see them. Visualizing your goals may help push you on the path to achieving them.
2. More Money
Tired of being broke and struggling to make ends meet, even though you're working hard? Look no further than health-related jobs for the best pay. Keep in mind, though, that you'll want to skip the aide and assistant positions. It's those glamorized surgeons who make the big bucks. You can expect to command an average of $419,023 in salary in 2022 if you're licensed to wield a scalpel.
If working with blood and guts isn'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 $130,850 in 2021. Just remember that this big fat paycheck usually comes with high education requirements, long hours, and a higher level of stress.
3. Less Stress
Let's face it, work is stressful, no matter what you do for a living. But 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.
There are a number of resources that can help you find a low-stress job. For instance, Investopedia has a list of jobs that have little to no stress. The top three are data scientists, dieticians, and medical records technicians. CareerCast also listed the ten least stressful jobs, which include diagnostic medical sonographer, hair stylist, and audiologist.
Keep in mind that everyone's definition of stress is different and some of us can tolerate much more stress than others. That can certainly affect what type of job you choose. And let's face it, things certainly changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so things may be a little skewed.
4. Helping Others
Your job may help you make ends meet, but perhaps there's something missing. You feel like you're just another rat in the race when really, you'd like to help others and make a difference. The health care 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.
5. Working From Home
Imagine your workday if you work from home. You start by getting up, pouring yourself a cup of coffee, and going to work in your kitchen—all 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. Consultancy is one job that has consistently allowed people to work from home. The BLS expects this sector to grow at 11% from 2021 to 2031.
The pandemic forced the world to reevaluate how people work. And the corporate world was forced to make changes when things calmed down. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 27.6 million people (17.9%) worked remotely between 2019 and 2021. That number tripled from about nine million people or 5.7% of the workforce before the virus spread.
The percentage of people who say working remotely helps them balance work with their personal lives. As many as 44% of workers said working from home allows them to accomplish their work goals, including meeting deadlines.
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.