Work Life Balance and choosing a job

For many people, part of choosing the right job can often also be about achieving a work-life balance. What this means is finding a job that gives you the right balance of time for the demands of your job with enough time for the other things in your life whether this is time with family, hobbies or just some ‘me’ time. Many people can feel that they are juggling work, children and other commitments – this can result in stress and anxiety and for some, a sense that they are not performing well at any of their tasks.

What work-balance do you want?

To achieve a work-life balance, first ask yourself what time you would like for the commitments in your life and see what jobs can fit in with this. For example, if you have to do a school run, would a part-time job be better? Or if you have a hobby, is there a job that can incorporate it? For example, if you love exercise, would you consider training to become a fitness instructor? Getting a good work-balance can bring a great sense of fulfillment and achievement and help you to avoid unnecessary stress.

Jobs to support work-life balance

Here are some types of jobs that can offer flexible working patterns and may give you the opportunity for that desirable work-life balance:

Part-time jobs

It’s true that part-time jobs are actually on the increase (economic downturn has meant that employers aren’t always looking for full-time employees) which means there are more opportunities to get part-time work. There are numerous jobs that can lend themselves to part-time hours such as; postal worker, hairdresser, teachers. Find a work area you’re interested in and see what opportunities they offer for working part-time.

Job sharing

A job share is where two people share one job. It is often introduced for women returning to work after maternity leave but this doesn’t mean that you need to have a baby to get a job share! If someone is returning to work on a job share basis, the company will need to advertise for someone else to do the other half of the job. These type of jobs may not be easy to find but a good starting place is to consider jobs advertised by local councils and authorities.

Flexible working

Flexible working is where your employer allows you to have a flexible working pattern. This may take shape by offering flexible working hours or allow you to work from home. Some employers may allow you to take extended leave (for that 8 week safari trip that you’ve always wanted to do!). You may want to consider particular employers who provide flexible working. You can search for employers that offer flexible working at It’s worth noting that recent government reforms (9/5/12) will allow more people to request flexible working, not just people who have children.

Freelance work

Be your own boss! Working freelance means you work for yourself. You may have a skill that allows you to work from home. The difference is that you need to find the work and can still be subjected to tight deadlines. The benefit of working freelance is that it will give you a lot of flexibility in when and where you work. But you must be self-disciplined if you’re also hoping to achieve a work life balance. Many freelancers work from home which can blur the boundaries of work and home life. If you’re considering working as a freelancer, it’s probably worth giving yourself some rules so that you don’t end up working too many hours. It can be all too tempting to carry on working into the evening. Equally, this can also free up time in the day which could benefit your work-life balance. To work freelance, you need to be organised, self-disciplined and motivated. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid!

Category: Career Change, Finding Work