Glassdoor recently released a report (as on Mashable, see below) sharing the top jobs with the best work-life balance. We have talked about how work-life balance issues are the talk of the town with some senior managers at times not even realizing that they’re suffering from a serious condition of stress and anxiety due to their jobs.
From a list we took out a few management positions to analyze them a bit more…
SEO specialist: The SEO specialist is the 2nd best one on the list of best work-life balance. While Glassdoor already had a few comments, we decided to do a bit of our own research and asked a German SEO specialist for a quick view…
“Well, for me it’s pretty good. Because the nature of the work is such that it’s pretty continuous. So there are few hard deadlines. So there is rarely a reason for me to stay super late because I really have to finish something for example, if you compare that to other people in this company…” (SEO specialist, Germany)
Google and Rand Fishkin will surely agree and be proud of this long term vision of SEO. Clearly, more long term than many have believed in the past. And does seem to fall in line with the thought that stricter deadlines and urgencies do push people to the corner even if those occur infrequently. Raises the point that every job could perhaps benefit from well oiled planned processes so that ‘extreme’ deadline pressure and later hours are avoided.
Data scientist: The first question that hit me, was, ‘what is a data scientist’? I mean, this is a dead giveaway that I am not one, but then, we already knew that. According to IBM, a data scientist is an evolution from the business analyst role.
Data scientists pick up big data trends and using their number and business acumen skills and are able to identify issues and business challenges and communicate them to business leaders. We got in touch with a German data scientist for a view on this best work-life balance topic, considering data scientists are #1 on the list. Here was an interesting response that sheds some light on why this could be…
“So why i think so is because, I’m responsible for the data and the numbers but not the decisions made so it’s a service role – you provide what you’re asked for. Add to it, no traveling – it’s mainly a desk job which means, it’s done when you get out of the office. It usually involves a lot of data (sometimes confidential) so you don’t end up taking work home. There’s of course stress when it comes to certain situations, but the share of crazy days is not always that high again – it can be different in different levels or companies. I think another thing to add to it is – you can work independently – you don’t have to be in meetings, you don’t have to wait for approvals. These things make sure you get your shit done in 8 or 9 hours. Collaborating with people, waiting for bottlenecks to be cleared, I don’t face these things” (Data Scientist, Germany)
Social Media Manager: A new but critical role in many company, social media managers depending on the size of the company can be placed in the marketing, customer care, PR, Content Marketing or even product departments.
It truly depends on how the company visualizes such a cross functional role. We keep hearing that social media is a 24/7 job, so it was interesting to have this listed quite high. We spoke to a social media manager and this is what we found. Some people are still not in agreement, and think that social media manager jobs are already pushing the work-life balance the wrong way.
“I’m getting push back right now in the social-media and digital-media space with regard to work-life balance because it’s already 24 hours to a large degree. Making it officially 24/7 would be incredibly challenging unless the incentive is so great that it’d be worth the trade off. And I don’t know what it would take. For my candidates, salary wouldn’t do it; they are being paid pretty well, and people in social media and digital can get good jobs right now. More and more are pushing back and trying to protect their family time. I think there’d be tremendous resistance.” – Linda Schaler, Managing Director at Stephen-Bradford search, New York
However others are more positive and here’s why:
“Social media managers are using a lot of tools these days and automating a lot of distribution and curation. That is really helping them push the boundaries and ‘appear’ online even when they are not. Additionally, to people that are ‘living social’ in their personal lives, it’s almost a fun thing that they get paid for what they naturally enjoy doing. What a fantastic position that is, don’t you think? In addition, everything in the social media day has a small life time- not to say it’s not important, but people learn to prioritize what’s worth spending time on and what can be ignored. I come to office thinking, everyday is a new day. That means, I can stop thinking about the shit that happened in the day, because the next day, no one really cares a few hours later (unless it is a massive disaster). Social Media is seen as human, people can make errors. It makes me feel all Scarlet O’Hara, tomorrow is another day” (Social Media Manager, Global clients)
Do you agree with this report? Is this something you see in your roles too? If not, hopefully you can find a way to improve the functioning in your jobs as well! After all, the final call is always ours :).