I recall in the early 90s when I was considering joining an insurance company as a consultant, one of the benefits they mentioned was the quality of life it could afford you. After 3 years, I was leaving a profitable fast-food business, but that had demanded my presence 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no quality of life when you are not spending time with your friends and family, doing the things you love, regardless of the amount of money you are making. What I sought more than anything was to have a work-life balance that could afford me a quality life.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Quality of Life (QOL) is, ‘ the level of satisfaction and comfort that a person or group enjoys.’ Although the concept is subjective and based on a person’s values, their socio-economic circumstances, and other external factors, establishing what level of satisfaction you are happy within your life, matters. Knowing what you would sacrifice and what is non-negotiable, is a sign of strong character. Pursuing a certain quality of life that enables you to be authentic and happy, should be a goal.
Some of the careers that offer the best work-life balance in 2019, might come as a surprise. A software developer is a career that offers the best combination across many dimensions such as average pay, annual leave, sick days, working hours and conditions, and so on. Most of the top 25 careers come from the medical fraternity. For example, physician assistants, dentists, nurse practitioners and prosthodontists. An insurance sales agent is still one of the top 25, and hairdressers and glaziers also make it onto the list. A long-distance truck driver is one of the worst careers for work-life balance. Besides the irregular hours, the long time spent away from friends and family, and the lonely conditions on the road, they also suffer from health problems.
I have enjoyed a quality of life that would not have been possible had I not decided to pursue a quality life. The point of departure for leaving the fast-food industry to join the insurance industry was in pursuit of a better quality of life. I’ve gone on to spend many years within the insurance industry, and I’m still involved today. Although I have not sold an insurance policy for many years, as a marketer, I’ve enjoyed a quality of life not afforded to many.
Over three years ago, I left the corporate world to start up the Leap First Marketing Agency. It was a massive leap leaving a comfortable corporate position to go out on my own. But the driving force for a better quality of life wouldn’t rest. Without a clear idea of what I was going to do or how I was going to survive, I resigned on the 29th of February 2016, Leap Year’s day. It was when I mentioned to a friend of mine that I happened to be listening to Seth Godin’s lecture, “Leap First — Creating Work that Matters” for the umpteenth time, that he suggested also naming the business”Leap First.”
The quality of life you live is dependent on your ability to seek out and pursue what makes you happy. Choosing to live a balanced life, filled with more of the things that make you happy, and less of the things that don’t, is choosing a quality life.
Have an awesome weekend! 😉
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on July 24, 2020.