Work-Life Balance can be summed up in one word: Flexibility.
Let’s be clear: no job is perfect. Whatever you do for a living will require the capability to draw the line between work and play (Even IF you love what you do)…
Nevertheless, Work-Life Balance is the key ingredient to a happy, healthy career.
In today’s blog, we’re going to define flexibility under 3 categories: Location, Schedule, and Qualifications as we explore 10 Careers that have the best work-life balance.
#1: Virtual Assistant
Location: From your home office; virtual; telecommuting.
Schedule: Semi-flexible. Administrative jobs are very detail-oriented, so chances are many tasks will be based on a 9 to 5 schedule. Working from home does allow more autonomy, however. You can take a long lunch and mow the lawn or do the laundry during a typical work day.
Qualifications: College/advanced degree not required. A work background as an office assistant is a huge advantage. There are certain requirements necessary to becoming a VA. For example, you’ll need to be able to type at least 60 WPM and be well-versed in Word, Gmail and any other programs that the company uses—plus adeptness in online calendars, online file sharing and other cloud services. You’ll also need a computer and home office to work from.
#2: Computer Programming (Coding)
If you’re looking for work-life balance and flexibility, the tech industry is a prime choice. Computer programmers write code to create, update, debug, automate and simplify software programs and/or apps. There is in-house coding, where you work in an office as an employee, but there is an ever-increasing number of freelance coders to meet the growing demands of this lucrative market as well. There isn’t much flexibility with employee coding positions, but for freelance computer programmers, it is an entirely different story.
Location: Highly flexible. Allows for telecommuting from anywhere with computer access.
Schedule: Semi- flexible. It’s work-intensive, but you can structure your own schedule around your projects. Client-based work relies more upon deadlines than a rigid schedule.
Qualifications: Program training/certifications in programming languages like C++, HTML, PHP, and Perl.
#3: Massage Therapist
Another viable career for work-life balance is a massage therapist. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for massage therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020. With such a great demand outlook, here’s how it weighs in:
Location: Location is fixed when working for chiropractors, pain clinics, spas and doctors.
Schedule: Varying flexibility. It depends on your location. For example, if you work for a spa (or in conjunction with a spa as an independent contractor), your schedule is highly flexible, since you can schedule sessions with clients according to your own timetable.
Qualifications: Successful completion of a massage therapy training program.
Being an herbalist is another profession that is work-life balance friendly. According to salary reviews provided by the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) in 2015, an herbalist can earn anywhere from $20,000 to $120,000 a year. Herbalists practice alternative medicine using plants, flowers and essential oils for botanical medicines and remedies.
Location: Very flexible. Herbalists are often self-employed and run their own clinical practices. Clinical herbalists can work independently or with naturopathic physicians or other alternative providers. You also do not necessarily have to work in a clinical setting as an herbalist. You could be employed in manufacturing and retail, serving as a product developer, buyer or manufacturing representative. You might even work in a health food store. Other herbalists serve as educators, who conduct research, write articles and books and teach at professional conferences and schools.
Schedule: Very flexible. As an entrepreneur, herbalists can make their own schedules, allowing time for family and personal care.
Qualifications: No college or advanced degree required. Self-taught or successful completion of a herbologist course.
#5: Visual Artist
Location: From home or self-determined location. Typically visual artists work from a home studio or designated community art space.
Schedule: High flexibility. Schedule is self-determined. Art projects for clients are dependent on agreed-upon deadlines. As long as you hand in your artwork, you can work on your own schedule, allowing time for work and play.
Qualifications: No college/advanced degree required. Can complete an art degree if desired. Professional training or self-taught experience matters.
#6: Elementary and High School Teacher
Location: Fixed. Teachers must commute to a school facility each workday, Monday to Friday.
Schedule: Seasonally flexible. Teachers are one the few traditional occupations that allow employees to have an entire season off (also paid time). With teachers, the school year is out during the summer, leaving teachers total flexibility for work/life balance and a chance to rejuvenate from the school year.
Qualifications: College/advanced degree is required, i.e. a Masters Degree in Education. A state-board teaching certification is also required.
#7: Internet Entrepreneur
Internet entrepreneurship is a broad term encompassing everything from being an eBay seller to a You Tube entrepreneur. Simply put, internet entrepreneurship is any business enterprise started and operated entirely online.
Here’s the work-life balance stats:
Location: From anywhere. All you need is a computer and internet access.
Schedule: Totally flexible. No commute, no 9 to 5 schedule, no punching a clock. You will work long hours more or less, but how you schedule those hours is up to you.
Qualifications: No college/advanced degree required. No training courses or certifications. An entrepreneurial spirit, self-determination, hard work, marketing and networking skills will get you far.
Few careers offer work/life balance like professional blogging.
Location: From anywhere. All you need is a computer and internet access.
Schedule: Total flexibility. With 100% location freedom, you can work anytime of the day or night, weekends and holidays. You can choose your own schedule centered around your blogging clients or your own blog.
#9: Medical Coding
According to flexjobs.com, The New York Times recently reported that “health care providers are racing to hire [medical] coders“. With Obamacare in full swing with its ever-increasing codes and regulations, independent medical coders are in higher demand than ever by major healthcare companies. The job requires assigning codes that correlate to the care provided, and creating claims that the healthcare provider submits for payment.
Location: Very flexible. This is a position that can be done entirely from home. Medical coding jobs usually require little, if any, interaction that can’t be done by phone, email, or other digital platforms.
Schedule: The hours are often flexible, as long as the work is completed by required deadlines.
Qualifications: No college or advanced degree required. It does require a medical coding certification, which can be achieved at a community college or online program.
#10: Sales Representative
Sales Reps offer a high level of flexibility. According to Business Insider,
“Professionals seeking autonomy on the job have good reason to be drawn to [medical] sales… a [medical] sales rep’s job is not one spent in a cubicle; they’d rather spend their days covering a defined territory to call on doctors and hospitals.
“When not on a sales call, they’re typically working from a home office, a hotel room, or even from the car. So, depending on the size of the territory, overnight travel is often required.”
Location: Very flexible. As Business Insider explains, your location can change from day to day. You’re in the office today, on the road tomorrow, in a potential client’s office the next day.
Schedule: Mostly flexible. A certain chunk of time must be designated to selling, but that time is not like punching a clock, having to be in the same place. You can pick up the kids from school imbetween clients.
Qualifications: No college/advanced degree required. Sales training/experience is needed. If you have natural selling skills, even better.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.