These Jobs Can Improve Your Work/Life Balance

Work Life Balance
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Your doctor can only see you at 2 this afternoon. Your daughter's teacher says you have to get to school right now. Or maybe you just want to take a yoga class in the middle of your workday. How will your boss respond?

Getting the time and support for the things you want or need is part of work/life balance, and more workers are taking that into account when they look for a job or consider leaving their current one.

"There are some job titles that lend themselves to a healthier work/life balance," said Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at the job services company Glassdoor. For instance, flexible hours allow you to run errands during the workday and still get all of your work done. Obviously, this only works for some jobs. "Data scientists can do that," he said. Ditto social media managers. "Their mobile devices let them stay connected."

20 Jobs With the Best Balance

Dobroski says workers are looking at three main areas: flexible hours, the ability to make their own work schedule and the opportunity to telecommute. Glassdoor recently released a survey of most highly rated jobs for a healthy work/life balance. Ratings are based on a five-point scale, with 1 equaling very dissatisfied and 5 equaling very satisfied:
  1. Data scientist -- 4.4
  2. Search engine optimization specialist -- 4.3
  3. Tour guide -- 4.3
  4. Lifeguard -- 4.3
  5. Social media manager -- 4.3
  6. Group fitness instructor -- 4.2
  7. User experience designer -- 4.2
  8. Corporate communications staffer -- 4.1
  9. Firefighter -- 4.1
  10. Equity trader -- 4.0
  11. Law clerk -- 4.0
  12. Investment analyst -- 4.0
  13. Administrative assistant -- 4.0
  14. Office assistant -- 3.9
  15. Sales representative -- 3.9
  16. Help-desk technician -- 3.9
  17. Substitute teacher -- 3.8
  18. Carpenter -- 3.8
  19. Real estate broker -- 3.8
  20. Game designer -- 3.8
For those not in the know, a data scientist is a fairly new name given to quantitative analysts, web developers, programmers and the like, often working with tons of numbers that are known as big data. It's been described, by a data scientist of course, as "the sexiest job of the 21st century." It often requires an advanced degree. But that's not the case for all of the jobs on this list, such as tour guide, lifeguard or group fitness instructor.

When it comes to workplace satisfaction, salary may not be the most important factor.

From Corporate Treadmill to Gym Treadmill

Michael Goldstein worked in corporate finance and accounting for more than 35 years. "I wanted to get off the corporate treadmill," the 59-year-old said. After losing about 80 pounds with the help of trainer, "I was sitting and talking with some friends, and I morphed into something else."

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-"I can help people feel better about themselves." - Michael Goldstein%He became a personal trainer. "You may hate what you're doing, but you still have to make it work financially," he said. The timing was right. His kids were out of the house, and his wife still worked.

He ended a daily commute of more than three hours between his home in central New Jersey and New York City to work one on one with people seeking to improve their fitness. "I enjoy helping people," he said. "I had one elderly person who came in using a cane, and now she doesn't need it. It's good that I can help people feel better about themselves, help them meet their fitness goals."

Even corporate executives are increasingly concerned about work/life balance. A new survey from found that only 52 percent of senior-level execs are satisfied or very satisfied with the work/life balance, and most of them work at least 58 hours a week.

The survey, released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants, also found that 81 percent consider work/life balance when they decide whether to accept a new position. Nearly a third said they would refuse a promotion or a new job if it hurt their preferred work/life balance.

BlueSteps President Peter Felix says senior executives are working on how to balance the demands of 24/7 accessibility against their personal needs. While technology has created this accessibility, it has also "provided a form of liberation from the traditional work place," according to Felix. He says workers and corporations are still "figuring out how to make that work."

"Life is short," he said. "You don't want to spend all of your time glued to a desk."

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