Seeking a good work-life balance post MBA? Here are your options

Work-life balance is increasingly difficult to attain but your post-career MBA does not have to be taxing.

By Geetha Bai 

Read all stories

In today’s competitive world, most MBA careers require long hours, travel, and/or have other factors that are not conducive to a support work-life balance.

According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School, 94% of service professionals who worked in several fields including information technology, investment banking, and even accounting worked more than 50 hours a week.

While it is quite common for professionals to claim that spending long hours working is necessary, studies show that work-life balance is increasingly becoming a priority.

However, there are some careers that may require fewer hours than most and offer more flexible schedules for MBA holders who make work-life balance a priority.


What are the best career options post MBA for those who seek roles that offer a good work-life balance?

U2B spoke to Duncan Chapple, ABD doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh business school who specialises in teaching and researching new ventures and new markets. Chapple’s research focuses on informatics and digital entrepreneurship.

Chapple has also lectured at the Lancaster, Manchester, Sheffield, and Nottingham business schools.

He also has a track record of matching professionals to the right MBA and the right business school for years and is a business school admissions consultant.

Chapple suggests that MBA holders who are looking for careers that can offer the best work-life balance should opt for a career in entrepreneurship. He explains that as an entrepreneur, an individual has complete control over the amount of time they spend working.

MBA programme
Chapple is also the co-founder of the Institute for Industry Analyst Relations and co-authored three books on relationship marketing.

He warns that however, this may work in reverse as many people who become entrepreneurs are workaholics and cautions that these individuals may lack time management skills, which can be the ultimate pitfall.

If the aim is to achieve a more balanced lifestyle, it is important for an entrepreneur to take concrete steps to get off their phones and learn how to say no. This includes learning how to make a choice when tasks that demand your attention come up.

Chapple says that entrepreneurs will have to develop the discipline to delegate tasks effectively and make simple changes such as allowing a call to go to voicemail – so that they can focus their attention on the task on hand more effectively, and this task does not have to be about work.

He adds that these are privileges that those who are entrepreneurs should understand and not take for granted. The mindset shift he says is essential for those who make the transition from employee to entrepreneur post MBA.

Chapple asserts that MBA holders who are looking for opportunities for work-life balance are also able to find opportunities in the corporate world. He adds that there are roles that allow these professionals to leverage their network.


Chapple offers corporate recruiting, where the role of a recruitment consultant is about speaking to hiring managers and employers to solve industry problems, and this can be done by leveraging your network.

MBA holders who want a better work-life balance can enter the consultancy field. Additionally, roles in technology design like, user interface design, requirements analysis, and systems analysis that entail communication and knowledge transfer can also help these individuals strike that balance.

Chapple also recommends data science as a promising area, as data science is a filed that does not occur in real-time. He adds that there is a huge growth in demand for data scientists that will benefit from the MBA skillset.
Chapple also adds that a growing role that also benefits from the MBA skill set is strategic management. These individuals are responsible for evaluating actions and to seek options for a businesses’ long-term financial value and the operational risk that they develop.

Strategy managers will be able to have more control over their roles, which will in turn help with work-life balance a little better. Chapple also recommends careers that function as an interface between delivery teams and customers such as account management to offer a better work-life experience.