Many industries are becoming more lifestyle focused. This movement is taking a different form in each nation. Britain just offered new parents 50 weeks of combined leave, 37 of which are at full pay. Competitive American industries often offer really excellent vacation packages. Lots of other industries emphasize employee health and happiness, offering free gym and fitness memberships as part of the stand employee benefits packages. But other industries haven’t caught up to the curve yet, sometimes pushing employees to the brink and keeping them from enjoying their lives as they deserve. Finding the right balance between life and work is important, and if your employer isn’t going to do it for you, you should do it yourself. Here are three ways I have found to personally make the right balance between life and work in my own experience.

1) Find Your Own Way to Get Paid. There are a lot of San Francisco jobs that are pretty sweet. Whether or not you find one of your own, it’s important to have a side hustle. Side Hustles are creative things you can do to make money. I like to write (in fact it has become my full time job). This job started out as a way to pay for the occasional trip out of the country. I find that the side hustle is psychologically important. Being successful at finding your own way to make money shows yourself that you can do it. You can survive. It also gives you a lot more freedom. When the checks come to you, no one can tell you to come into the office or work extra hours. Once you start making enough money, you can start to have a lot more freedom in the lifestyle decisions you make on a daily basis.

2) Do Work that You Like. Even if it means making less money, don’t do work that you hate. This has such a deleterious effect on your health and happiness that it simply isn’t worth it. We do well at work that we like. And we move ahead in jobs that we do well at. So find something you like to do, whether or not it pays extraordinarily well. Use the success that you have in this endeavor to work your way into better paying positions and eventually you’ll have the best of both worlds – a well-paying job in a field that you enjoy.

3) Demand Certain Benefits. Some people work themselves to the bone out of a sense of obligation. If you haven’t taken a vacation in more than a year, or haven’t had a weekend to yourself, just do it. If your employer is a good one, he or she will understand and will allow you to enjoy your life on your own terms. If this is intolerable to the boss, maybe it’s time to find a new one.

These three methods and attitudes have helped me find excellent employment on my own terms. You always have to make concessions, but by being choosy about the concessions you do make, you can preserve your health and happiness, as well as your personal goals, nearly no matter what job you have.