Whether it’s the new year or a milestone that has you reflective, you may have resolved to achieve better work-life balance. But, spending more time on hobbies, outdoor excursions, or other personal pursuits is easier said than done. Once work and other obligations have filled your schedule, leisure activities are often the first things to go.
What to do? One way to bypass this problem is to find ways to incorporate these activities throughout your workday. College campuses provide access to various facilities and outdoor spaces. Pursuing a job in higher education may be one way to achieve work-life balance.
A Richer Life Outside Work
Colleges and universities typically give staff easy access to campus facilities like their:
- Arts or student center
- Athletic center
- Library and reading rooms
- Parks, gardens, and other outdoor spaces
With facilities like these right around your office, you’ll likely find it much easier to engage in healthy non-work activities like:
- Attending talks, film screenings, and other campus cultural events
- Taking continuing education or professional development classes
- Swimming, running, or other physical exercises
- Walking, exploring, and appreciating nature
- Reading, research, and intellectual pursuits
- Cultivating a hobby or learning a musical instrument
These activities fall squarely in the category of “important but not urgent,” to use author Stephen Covey’s classic phrase. They will never be as pressing as the top item on your work list, yet they’re crucial to your short- and long-term well-being, and therefore your career success. So the perk of a higher education job is it can situate your work literally next to the types of leisure activities that help you live and work best.
Of the activities named above, pinpoint and jot down the one you’re most interested in doing more at this stage in your life. Maybe you’re about to move into a big city, so you’d value access to more cultural events. Or you’re about to move out of one, so you’d value working near a large open park or garden. Or perhaps you’d like to take up photography again, so a class or two would help renew your interest and engagement in that medium.
Considerations like these deserve a place in your job search. Keep them in mind, and you can better gauge the full value of any work opportunity in higher education.
More Perks of Working in Higher Education
Some schools go further than simply opening the doors to their own facilities. For instance, they may offer you the following:
- Classes for free or at a high discount
- Financial incentives for maintaining and documenting a regular exercise regimen
- Discounts to off-campus arts venues (particularly common for schools in large cities)
- Similar exclusive access and resources for your spouse or dependents
Combine these perks with the increased time off common in education, and a college or university job can let you better balance your work and life.