If you’re struggling to make a career decision or simply to find more balance between your work and the rest of your life, you’re certainly not alone. More and more employees, particularly Gen Y employees, are looking for better balance between work and home, and they are prioritizing it higher than a huge paycheck.
The younger generation seems to be moving in the right direction here. Even if more work-life balance means taking home less money, it’s probably better to opt in favor of more balance. Here are six good reasons why:
1. More Money Doesn’t Equal More Happiness
Many people have chosen a job that winds up requiring long hours or a ridiculous commute, because it offers higher pay. Why do they do this? Because of one simple misconception: more money = more happiness.
But scientific research is discovering that this is actually not true! Studies between nations find that happiness is actually more prevalent in nations like Mexico, where many individuals live at or just above the subsistence level. Other studies published in Science show that increased income comes with a relatively brief period of increased happiness – and then just results in wanting even more.
Basically, once you have enough to meet your basic needs and splurge on a few extras, more money will actually bring more stress – not more happiness!
2. Better Balance Boosts Creativity
Work-life balance can increase your creativity at home and at work. When you have sufficient time to unwind and think through your day, your creativity can skyrocket.
Ever had a great idea while you’re taking a long, relaxing shower? It’s because your brain can make more creative connections when you aren’t constantly thinking about the next thing on your to-do list. With a job that offers no work-life balance, when are you going to find time for those long showers – or whatever other relaxing activity gives you your best ideas?
3. Relaxation Improves Productivity
Besides being more creative, you’ll actually be more productive if you seek a job with better work-life balance. (Ironically, this could mean making more money in the end, depending on your field of expertise!)
One article in Forbes notes that many companies that offer their employees a flexible work schedule see overall increases in employee productivity because of it!
4. You’ll Actually Get To Enjoy What You Do Have
What’s the point of working so hard that you can afford a backyard pool, a luxury car, or an expensive vacation if you never really get to enjoy any of those things?
Whether you’re a family man trying to give your kids the world or a single gal wanting to get ahead to enjoy “the good life,” finding a job with better work-life balance allows you to provide for your needs and wants, but also lets you have time to enjoy all those things you’re working for.
5. Lack of Balance Leads to Burnout
One of the pervasive problems with the 90-hour-workweek crew is burnout. If you work at a frenetic pace for several years in a row, you’ll burn out – physically, emotionally, mentally, and professionally.
You’ll run out of ideas. You’ll run out of energy. You’ll run out of creativity. You’ll just plain have a heart attack! A job with better work-life balance may mean more earnings over the long run because you’ll be less likely to burn out.
6. Life is Lived in the Little Moments
Finally, the main reason to opt for a job with better work-life balance is simply that if you don’t balance work with the rest of your life, you’ll miss it.
Believe it or not, your life isn’t about the number of zeros on your year-end bonus. Life is about the moments that are worth savoring. And a job with a decent income and great work-life balance lets you savor those moments and create a life that’s really worth living.
More and more young professionals, particularly, are seeking out jobs with flexibility and the chance for good work-life balance, even if those jobs typically come with slightly lower pay.
Daniela Baker, social media advocate at the credit card comparison blog CreditDonkey.com, says that in the end, it’s up to you to decide, but hopefully these six reasons to choose better work-life balance have at least made you think twice about accepting that job with a hefty raise and equally hefty requirements.
Image courtesy of DirkJan Ranzijn.