By Kristen Harris
Good news, creative people! According to a recent survey, our jobs rank pretty high on the work-life balance scale. 6 of the Top 10 jobs on the 25 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance (2015), list are in the marketing/creative space.
Why is work-life balance so important? Research shows significant ties between work-life balance and job satisfaction. Workers who are able to not just juggle, but actually weave together, all parts of their life tend to be more satisfied. In fact, the millennial generation expects this. They anticipate finding work where they can contribute and feel valued, and don’t believe they should have to give up their social lives or personal interests to make that happen.
Often work-life balance is seen as a scale, with people striving to always be in perfect equilibrium. Although it feels more like a juggling act—just keep all the balls in the air, don’t drop anything important. I think of it as a seesaw…never perfectly balanced, always teeter-tottering between work and personal commitments.
Why are people in creative roles more satisfied with their work-life balance? Consider some areas that lead to the feeling of a healthy work-life balance. A sense of control. Some degree of flexibility. Success related to results, solving problems, making customers happy. Less value is placed on traditional work hours and face time. Fun, interesting work environments.
It makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that nearly all of the marketing/creative roles on this list are digital or technology-driven roles. Because of the technology component, these roles often allow more flexibility in how and where the work gets done. Which means you might actually work more, or at different hours, but feel a greater sense of control. There is a feeling of freedom to make choices that lead to a balance between personal and work commitments.
Seeking better work-life balance in your role?
Consider what’s important to you. Finding work-life balance can be elusive because the definition is very personal. The things I need to do to feel balanced may not be what you need. Be specific and identify what “balance” means to you. What would an ideally balanced day or week look like?
Assess your current role. Can you make changes that will bring you closer to your ideal? Sometimes it’s just deciding to do things a little differently. If a schedule tweak or a little more flexibility would make a huge difference in your life, talk to your manager. Be realistic, just because you ask doesn’t mean it can happen. But you may be able to find a solution that works for both of you.
Identify ideal roles. If your current role can’t be changed to bring you closer to balance, consider what positions would be a better fit for you. Is it a different role at your current company? The same role at a different company? Project-oriented work like freelancing or working with a staffing firm? Think about what type of role would help you find balance, then start taking steps in that direction.
Remember the gap between your current role and a more ideal work-life balance may not be that wide. Sometimes all it takes are a few changes on your end, or finding a new arrangement that works for both you and your employer. Identify the gap and then start finding ways to bridge it. And, if you’re already exceptionally happy with your work-life balance, congratulations! Your job might be on this list.