It can be difficult trying to balance a demanding work schedule with a happy home life. This is
especially true in some careers more than others. STEM job roles vary extensively; some people
with STEM careers can find themselves spending most of their day in an office, whereas others jet
off to new countries regularly. With long hours and a lot on your plate, juggling a successful career
with your desired lifestyle isn't easy. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain a good balance
between the two. Here is a guide to different types of STEM careers and how you can be
successful at work and at home.
Different Types of STEM Careers
STEM careers involve many types of roles within the science, technology, engineering, and math
sectors. These sectors cover varying jobs, such as civil engineers and geophysicists. Professionals
work in many different settings, from classrooms and lecture halls to laboratories and clinics. Here
are a few of the best-ranking STEM roles, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
The U.S. News & World Report states that the best-ranking role is a physician assistant. Physician assistants earned a median salary of $115,390 per year with a 31 percent job outlook, which is much faster than average. They rank number one in STEM jobs; they also top the leaderboard for
the best healthcare jobs and come in at number one on the top 100 best jobs list too.
Roles within computer science include network engineer, systems engineer, and software
developer. Software developers earn around $110,140 per year, and they have a low
unemployment rate. To become a software developer, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in
There is a wide-ranging spectrum of careers within engineering, from geotechnical and
aeronautical to electrical and mechanical. Mechanical engineers come in at number 11 for the best
STEM jobs and number one for the best engineering jobs. You can anticipate earning an average
salary of $90-$160 per year, and you can become a mechanical engineer with a bachelors degree.
With an associates degree, you might be able to get an entry-level job. Mechanical engineers
score 8 out of 10 for both work-life balance and future growth.
Growing Your Career While Balancing Your Lifestyle
No matter what area you work in, it can be difficult to grow your STEM career without sacrificing
the lifestyle you enjoy. A great way to fast-track your career is to achieve further qualifications.
Those with an engineering background can benefit from achieving an online graduate diploma in
engineering management from the University of Ottawa. This graduate diploma will help you
develop management skills. The course covers topics such as the legal, ethical, technological, and
global context of management decision-making, the structure of engineering organizations and the
importance of accounting and finance, interpersonal skills, decision-making under conditions of
uncertainty. This course is ideal for STEM and engineering professionals, and it can be completed
in three terms.
Maintaining a good work-life balance is achievable, but some careers are less compatible with
certain lifestyles. Therefore, it is important to set realistic goals at the beginning of your career that
matches your lifestyle type. For example, if you know you will want to spend most evenings and
weekends at home with your family, you should choose a career route to allow for this free time.
Although jobs that require frequent travel sound appealing, they may not make you happy in the
long run. Of course, throughout your career, your goals may change. Therefore, it is important to
regularly review your career aspirations as your lifestyle and desires change.
Communication is Key
A key component to a good work-life balance is communication. While striving to achieve a
successful career, it is important to have a good support system at home that you can rely on. To
build a supportive home network, you need to create an open dialogue with those closest to you.
For example, if you have a family you return to after a working day, you need to be able to speak to
them openly and honestly. In addition, make sure responsibilities are distributed proportionately
and always know where you both stand.
Whether things are going well at work, or you are having a hard time, try to maintain an open
communication channel. If you are having an intense time in the office, make sure your partner
knows about it. This gives your partner a chance to understand what you are going through, and it
will give them a heads up when things get tough. Furthermore, keeping them in the loop will give
them some context about your behavior. It will enable them to understand your actions and any
changes in mood you may display.
Honest Relationships at Work
Similarly, it is also important to maintain an honest relationship with management at work to
understand your home life dynamic. If there is a period of intense work, they will gauge your home
life and hopefully delegate a suitable amount of work to you. It will also give them realistic
expectations of what you are capable of taking on. Not everyone gets on with their colleagues, but
it can be a good idea to be open with the people you work with directly. Developing good work
relationships can lead to excellent teamwork and increased productivity.
Commit to the Workload You Accept
Taking on extra work can score you brownie points with your manager and colleagues. However, it
is important that you only accept this work if you know you have the time to complete it to the best
of your ability. Don't say yes to work you cannot commit to. Learn to assess your current workload and make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew. Although your manager may be happy that you have volunteered to take on that new project, he won't be so happy if you start missing deadlines or begin handing in inadequate work.
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