Why SEO & Design Provide the Best Work-Life Balance

  •   Miki Pacifico

By Miki Pacifico

A trifecta of talent, flexibility, and compensation.

A recent survey report released by Glassdoor and published by Business Life Daily states that of the top 20 jobs for work-life balance, Inovāt currently holds three positions on the list. Okay, they didn’t mention us by name, but we do have three job titles that made the grade and I wanted to discuss why SEO Specialists, Social Media Managers, and User Experience Designers seem to have it so good. 

Oh, So Flexible

Technology in today’s society can be a double-edged sword. What we are losing in social graces we are making up in technological advancements that allow our work lives to blend more easily into our home lives. Namely, I can work from home if I have something pressing at the house that also needs my attention. Electric garage door broken and you have to wait for the repairman? I can take conference calls, access our work server, answer emails and log into all my web-based platforms from the comfort of my home office and Wonder Woman pajama pants. To be fair, if I really wanted to I could probably wear the pajama pants into the office, but I prefer my style legacy to remain untarnished. 

Working from home
Image by Markus Spiering

The beauty of SEO, social media, and design is that your programs can go wherever you need them as long as you have access to the files that you need. Situations where your physical presence is mandatory are few and far between with the invention of video conferencing and chat functions.

Forever Young

Search engine optimization and social media as industries are incredibly young (as in, the most experienced SEOs on the planet started doing it in the late 90’s and early 2000’s). One major aspect of not only digital marketing but the design industry as well is the self-starter, entrepreneurial spirit to continually innovate - a characteristic that tends to be a quality of the young. Maybe it’s naivety assuming that only your ideas are brilliant enough to shake and shape the world, but this naivety ledes to many digital and design agencies run by executives in their mid-20’s to mid-30’s. 

What does this mean for work-life balance? Well, it is comforting to know that your boss is going through the same life experiences, struggles, identity crises and neuroses that you are. They too are getting married, becoming new parents, dealing with the balance of a social life and meeting deadlines and they understand the strain it puts on you, too. This ledes to better scheduling policies, vacation time, office social activities, and in general better employee morale. This is, of course, just my experience over the last 7 years in the digital industry, but I have to say that it has stayed pretty steady with the exception of a couple executives who perhaps took the “forever young” attitude to the extreme and past their prime. 

You’re Not Saving Lives

Let’s be real, while digital marketing is data-heavy and extremely important for a majority of businesses to compete in this tech-savvy world, it’s not neurosurgery. While in an agency setting we are faced with deadlines on a regular basis, in an in-house position especially you will find that the ongoing nature of maintaining your marketing efforts or updating the creative on your website is simply not that pressing. Do not mistake me in assuming that it isn't important. It definitely is. But we aren’t saving lives here, people. The stress is what you make of it. Personally I take the laid-back, Californian approach to stress, which drives my husband absolutely crazy. East Coasters really take ownership of their stress. 

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that at the end of the day, unless I have an immediate deadline, I get to just shut down my computer and go home. My husband knows approximately what time he can expect me with variables for traffic and stops at the gas station or gym. Did I mention that my husband is also an SEO specialist? Our imaginary potential future children are going to see such an adequate amount of us.

Competitive Salaries

Everyone and their one friend on Facebook thinks that they know how to do SEO or can whip up a new website for you on the cheap. It is important to remember that in digital and design industries very often you get what you pay for and finding true talent and a wealth of actionable knowledge is extremely difficult. This is why, when searching sites like Glassdoor or OnwardSearch, you see such a wide range of salaries for these industries. While of course the highest paid on that scale live and work in places like New York City and San Francisco, the mid-to-high range will be made up of some seriously talented, hardworking marketers and designers from all over the country. 

How do you become one of those well-paid employees? You learn and absorb absolutely everything that you can, you work your ass off, and you keep your ego in check. Being an amazing designer will get you so far, but being an amazing co-worker will take you the rest of the way. How does this translate to work-life balance? Making that cheddar and taking advantage of all the other benefits I talked about before puts you in the rare and coveted position of being a happy, middle-class American. I know, I thought we were going extinct, too. So take those vacation days, bring your kids along, ignore the old lady glaring at you on the plane because your baby is fussy. You’ve got a great life!

If you want to learn more about how Inovāt can help you achieve your work-life balance, check out our Careers page for open positions.

Header photo by Bradley Siefert