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10 Jobs With the Best Work-Life Balance

Cornerstone Editors

It's no secret that many of today's top employers promote work-life balance as a key component of company culture to recruit and retain top talent. Employers are increasingly focused on creating a workplace that values individuals not only professionally, but also personally.

But in today's 24/7 connected world, finding such balance is much easier said than done. Many job seekers are not only evaluating companies on an individual level, but also looking for career paths that allow them to manage work in conjunction with individual and family obligations, health and wellness priorities, and flexible scheduling that fits their lifestyle.

What positions actually allow for such flexibility? A recent study from job and recruiting platform Glassdoor offers some guidance: After evaluating employee feedback on Glassdoor from the past year, the company ranked the best jobs for work-life balance. (Fun fact: Three out of the top 10 best jobs for work-life balance are HR-related jobs: Data scientist, talent acquisition specialist and recruiting coordinator.) Check out the rest of the list below:

1. Data Scientist

Photo: Shutterstock

Data scientists bring structure to big data by finding compelling patterns and advising executives on the implications for products, processes and decisions. The growth of the role is due to the increasing interest in using statistical analysis to make informed workforce, business, healthcare and policy decisions.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.2

Average Salary: $114,808

Job Outlook: Job growth from 2012 to 2022 is projected at 22 percent, significantly higher than the average 11 percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

2. SEO Manager

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SEO managers are key components of a company's interactive marketing and digital divisions, providing expertise in analytics, data and content development. They develop and grow partner-vendor relationships to help make their company's product, brand and services more visible online.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.1

Average Salary: $45,720

Job Outlook: The overall number of SEO jobs in the top 20 cities grew by 18 percent in 2015. (Conductor.com)

3. Talent Acquisition Specialist

Photo: Creative Commons

This highly-valued position is responsible for delivering all facets of recruiting success within an organization. Talent acquisition specialists often manage recruiting coordinators and HR generalists and build relationships with business partners to help the organization discover and retain top talent.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.0

Average Salary: $63,504

Job Outlook: Human resources specialist positions are projected to grow at 7 percent through 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. Social Media Manager

Photo: Creative Commons

Social media managers monitor, contribute, filter, measure and otherwise guiding the social media presence of a brand, product, individual or corporation.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.0

Average Salary: $40,000

Job Outlook: Many social media managers work closely with public relations, an area that is growing slightly above average at 12 percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

5. Substitute Teacher

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Substitute teachers do not have employment contracts with schools, but teach while contract teachers are out due to illness, short term absence, sabbatical leave or other types of absences. The growth in private, charter and specialized schools is expanding the opportunity for substitute teachers to work in a wider variety of environments.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9

Average Salary: $24,380

Job Outlook: Employment growth will vary by region. Those with specialized skills, such as Spanish or special education, may find unique opportunities. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

6. Recruiting Coordinator

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Recruiting coordinators support HR and talent acquisition teams with job postings, resume review, coordinating interviews, preparing job descriptions, updating the company applicant tracking system and more.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9

Average Salary: $44,700

Job Outlook: Employment of human resources specialists, such as recruiting coordinators, is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

7. UX Designer

Photo: Shutterstock

UX designers focus on the look, feel and usability of technology tools, such as apps and websites.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9

Average Salary: $91,440

Job Outlook: Opportunities in the web development field are expected to increase by 20 percent through 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

8. Digital Marketing Manager

Photo: Shutterstock

Provides strategy, leadership and direction for all digital and interactive marketing initiatives, focusing on analytics, advertising, SEO, email marketing and more.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9

Average Salary: $70,052

Job Outlook: Marketing manager jobs are predicted to grow by 12 percent through 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

9. Marketing Assistant

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Marketing assistants work closely with marketing managers to assist with the administrative, communication, social media and project planning within a marketing department.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8

Average Salary: $32,512

Job Outlook: The marketing assistant role will likely see similar growth to marketing managers — 12 percent through 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

10. Web Developer

Photo: Shutterstock

Web developers design, program and maintain web sites.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8

Average Salary: $66,040

Job Outlook: Similar to UX designers, web development jobs are expected to increase by 20 percent through 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Header photo: Shutterstock

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A New Poseidon Adventure: Flipping Succession Planning Upside Down

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A New Poseidon Adventure: Flipping Succession Planning Upside Down

Organizations make significant investments in efforts to hire the right candidates – the people who have the right experience and cultural fit. By carefully managing the performance and potential of these people over time, the organization can grow its leadership pipeline, keep a steady inventory of needed skills and competencies and remain nimble in the face of change (which we have plenty of all around us these day) – all of which can have serious impact on the bottom line. However, much of this pie-in-the-sky stuff relies on being able to locate and cultivate high-potential and high-performing talent across the board. Without an integrated succession management solution, recognizing and developing talent can be an ever-elusive process. The questions we are seeing asked today include: does the traditional top-down approach to succession management still make enough of a difference? Does managing succession for a slim strata of senior executives take full advantage of the kinds of talent data we now have at our fingertips? It doesn’t have to be so. Succession management can be an interactive process between senior leadership, managers and employees at all levels of the organization. And, if we trust them, we can actually let employees become active participants in their own career development. (Shudder.) Career Management (Succession Planning Flipped Upside Down) This "bottom-up" approach is gaining momentum because who better to tell us about employee career path preferences than employees themselves. Organizations actually have talent management and other HR systems in place that allow for collecting and analyzing a whole slew of data around: Career history Career preferences Mobility preferences Professional and special skills Education achieved Competency ratings Performance scores Goal achievement Training and certifications Etc. In short, pretty much everything we’d want to know to make well-informed succession planning and talent pooling decisions. For some, the leap is simply putting some power into the employee’s hands. The talent management system of 2011 is capable of displaying a clear internal career path for employees and then, on the basis of all that data bulleted out above, showing a "Readiness Gap" – what do you need to do to make the step to the next level? And if your talent management environment comes armed with a real Learning Management System, you can take it to the next level with a dynamically generated development plan that gets the employee on the right path to actually closing those gaps. Faster development, faster mobility. Organizations that seriously favor internal mobility don’t just make employees stick on pre-defined career paths – they can search for ANY job in the company and check their Readiness levels. I might be in accounting today, but what I really want to do is move to marketing. Giving employees the chance to explore various career avenues within the organization helps assure that "water finds its level" – that is, that the right people with the right skills and the right levels of motivation and engagement find the right job roles internally. Employee participation is key, but make no mistake – managers play an important role in this interactive process. They must be prepared to provide career coaching, identify development opportunities and recommend employees for job openings. The candid discussions require that employees have open access to information so they can best understand the criteria necessary to move to the next level. A Two-Way Street Employee-driven career management is just one tool. The more traditional top-down approach to succession management remains indispensable. But organizations that value talent mobility and the ability to be able to shift and mobilize talent resources quickly will find that attention to career pathing can be vital. For employees, of course, the impacts are immediate and include boosted levels of engagement, higher retention, increased productivity and more.

The Hidden Costs of Ignoring Your Talent Management Strategy

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The Hidden Costs of Ignoring Your Talent Management Strategy

Building and maintaining a successful company hinges on having the right people to execute projects and drive results. People, we hear time and again, are your company's most valuable asset. But their success — and HR's ability to recruit, engage and retain them — depends on HR pros who are strategic decision-makers, armed with the proper tools to let them excel at their jobs. Modern HR professionals manage much more than payroll and benefits. But their technology tools, in many cases, haven't evolved past basic productivity software like email or Microsoft Word. HR simply can't be strategic with old-school tools that reduce people to statistics and give little insight into what the numbers mean. Emails and spreadsheets were not designed to deliver meaningful insights into people's performance, suggest when employees should be promoted or highlight skills gaps in a company. For that, HR needs a broader, more strategic set of talent management tools, which lets professionals manage every aspect of the workforce, from training and performance reviews to collaboration and succession planning. Yet, research shows that less than 25% of companies use a unified, holistic approach to their talent management. The Real Costs of "Doing Nothing" As a Talent Management Strategy The critical relationship between business strategy and HR strategy too often gets overlooked by senior leadership. While it may seem like the company is saving money by managing recruiting, training, performance and succession via manual and paper-based processes, in reality it’s costing your business more than you know. For example: Without a talent management strategy, a company with 2,000 employees is losing almost $2 million every year in preventable turnover alone. Businesses that don’t invest in learning suffer from decreased employee performance and engagement to such a degree that they can expect to realize less than half the median revenue per employee. That’s a direct impact on the business. In employee performance management, organizations without a focused strategy waste up to 34 days each year managing underperformers and realize lower net income. To learn more about the business impact of talent management and how to start building out your strategy, check out the eBook Why Your Nonexistent Talent Management Strategy is Costing You Money (And How to Fix It) and register for the March 19th webinar, Building the Business Case for Talent Management.

The Return of the Moderate Merit Budget – Wreaking Havoc on Pay for Performance

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The Return of the Moderate Merit Budget – Wreaking Havoc on Pay for Performance

With the economy now on steadier ground, most organizations have returned to administering a merit budget to the pre-recession levels of 3 to 3.5%. In the years immediately following the economic downturn, many merit budgets were eliminated entirely or were reduced significantly and reserved for a select segment of the employee population. Pay for performance has become a necessity for many organizations that are expected to accomplish more with fewer resources. I often get asked: "How can I truly award my top performers with such a limited budget? Should I do so at the expense of my ’Meets Expectations’ performers? What if I need to retain my ’Meets Expectations’ performers and giving them 0% to 2% increase puts me at great risk for turnover? But if I don’t recognize my top performers, don’t I risk losing them...?" These are difficult questions to answer, however you can determine the best solution for your organization by considering the following: Are your employees paid at market pay levels? Is your organization’s performance management process mature? Does your organization have other compensation programs in place to reward top performers (e.g. variable pay)? Market Pay If turnover is a concern, and your organization needs to maintain ’bench strength’ in order to achieve its strategic objectives, your biggest priority should be to ensure that you are paying your employees at market pay levels. Why? Historically, as the labor market strengthens, organizations become vulnerable in terms of losing people. Hiring and onboarding replacement talent is not only costly to the organization, but can also cause dissension among existing employees since new hires may be getting paid more. Be sure to stay abreast of market pay levels and trends, and use the merit budget to correct disparities. Performance Management Process Organizations vary significantly in terms of the maturity of their performance management process. Closely examine your organization’s process and look for ways to improve it. If there is a perception that one management team is an ’easier grader’ than the others, the process is inherently flawed and any pay for performance program will not be viewed as credible and fair by employees. A good place to start is to get a calibration process in place and communicate broad guidelines on expected distribution ratings. Variable Pay Programs Variable pay programs (e.g. bonuses) have become increasingly more popular across all industries and career levels. These programs provide the opportunity for employees to share in the organization’s success while not adding to fixed payroll costs. Some plans have an individual performance component which can be a very effective means to recognize top performers. However, in order for this type of program to be successful, individual goals and targets must be well documented and communicated. Again, this is largely based on the maturity of the organization’s performance management process which takes time to evolve. What are the best steps to avoid wreaking havoc on your pay for performance process? First ensure your pay levels are keeping pace with the market Continue to evolve your performance programs with calibration among managers and a rigorous goal setting process Promote variable pay plans to reward high performers without adding to fixed pay roll costs It’s not always an easy journey but, in the end, it’s best to use a measured approach that is based on business needs and a realistic assessment of your current programs and processes.

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