12 Alternative Careers That Balance Work and Lifestyle

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When you become a parent, your job priorities change.

Sure, earning money and job satisfaction are still important. But the one thing all parents are after is a career that strikes the work/lifestyle balance. You want to spend as much time as possible with your family, whilst still making ends meet.

Sound impossible?

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Even in today’s economic climate, there are some jobs that offer this balance. Here we look at 12 alternative careers that help you enjoy work, and freedom:

1. Freelance Copywriter

If you can string a sentence together, write to sell, or proofread proficiently; a job as a freelance copywriter might be ideal for you.

As a freelancer of any persuasion, you get the freedom to work from home and chose your own hours. While the pay-packet is never a set amount – and chasing payment can be a lengthy process – this helps you strike the perfect balance.

Whatever your skills, put them to the test. If you don’t have a contact list to get you started, you can use websites such as to help you find work.

2. Sales Representative

When you work in sales, you have the freedom to choose your own working hours.

You can book meetings in when it suits you, and generally strike the balance that is best for you and your family. If you’ve got experience in this industry, working your own hours becomes even easier. For example, you can work while your kids are at school and make sure you’re always there to pick them up at home time.

3. Babysitter or Nanny

If you’ve spent time as a stay-at-home parent and dread going back to work, a job as a nanny could be ideal. You still get to spend the time at home with your kids, whilst helping out others who have to go back to work.

You will need to be CRB checked before you can become a babysitter though. This is a great career that offers the balance you’re looking for. Why not start off helping out friends and neighbours and see how it goes?

4. Visiting/Guest Lecturers

If you have a degree in a certain subject and a wealth of ‘real world’ experience, you could always consider becoming a visiting lecturer. This offers a great rate of pay and really flexible hours, making it the perfect solution for you.

Unlike a teacher, you don’t work all day, every day and you have considerably less marking to do. You also don’t have to be a qualified teacher. You do however; need experience in your chosen field and a willingness to do the marking when it is needed.

5. Social Worker

A career as a social worker can offer you the work/life balance that you’re after. While you may not be able to chose your hours, they are considerably more flexible than a desk job. You can also enjoy a real job satisfaction from helping those in need and really making a difference.

6. Seasonal Work

Everyone from students to parents should consider seasonal work.

Whether you work as an elf in Santa’s grotto, a helper at a summer camp, or a ski instructor; seasonal work offers you the hours you’re looking for. While the job isn’t permanent, it can help you make money and enjoy great working hours.

7. Blogger

The blogosphere has really expanded in recent years. If you’re looking for an at-home job that fits in around your schedule, you should consider blogging.

There is a growing trend for ‘mommy bloggers’ and ‘fashion bloggers’, and it is easier than ever to make a living from a blog. As long as you have a unique voice, stance, and something interesting to say, a career as a blogger could be ideal for you.

8. Dog Walker

If you’re an animal lover, this is the alternative career for you.

A job as a dog walker balances work and lifestyle, and offers flexible hours. You can work the days that suit you, and the hours that fit in to your schedule. If you have a dog to walk anyway, this could be ideal.

9. Housekeeper

Working as a housekeeper may not be everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. However, the hours will often fit in with your busy life as a parent. You can choose to work in a certain area, or commute further afield – the choice is yours.

10. Shift Work

While careers such as nursing might not offer you the perfect work/life balance, they can offer you the flexibility. Unlike a 9-5 office job, working shifts will mean that you do get days off in the week. In some jobs you’ll work ‘4 on, 4 off’, others you’ll do a set of morning shifts followed by evening ones.

This will give you some time off to spend at home. You will also spend less on childcare as you’ll be home some of the time yourself.

11. Retail Jobs

Similarly, jobs in retail offer the flexibility you’re looking for. You can often work the hours while your children are at school. The best thing about retail jobs is they end when you clock off. You have no extra work to do, and can relax at home.

This is great for securing that much sought after work/life balance. The only drawback is that you are often required to work evening or weekend shifts, as well as overtime hours.

12. Entrepreneur

There is nothing like working for yourself to balance work and lifestyle.

By starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur, you will – eventually – be able to choose your own working hours. You can work from home in your spare time, and as things take off you can hire help. This is perhaps the ultimate in flexible career options.

Striking this balance is by no means easy, but it is possible. These are just a handful of the careers that offer the ‘dream’ – a well paid job, career satisfaction, and a perfect lifestyle balance – what others are you aware of?

This guest post has been supplied by Outcomes UK, a specialist social work recruitment company. To find your perfect balance, visit their website:

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