Work-Life Balance

Even Single People Give Up Pay for Work-Life Balance; Ex-BigLaw Lawyer Is an Example


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Anne Marie Bowler gave up the big paycheck at a large law firm six years ago because she wanted more control over her time.

Bowler, now 36, started her own firm with another colleague who had just returned from maternity leave, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. Today she is able to go for long evening bike rides and duck out of work for special events. When she and her law partner are able to leave the office before dinner, they tell each other, “It’s five o’clock. That used to be snack time” at their former law firm.

Bowler tells the newspaper she worked at least 12 hours a day in BigLaw. “I wanted to have a life—a full life,” she said. The Wall Street Journal says the complaint is a familiar one for working mothers—but Bowler is single.

Some employers assume single people have plenty of time, so they give them extra work, the story says. Yet singles may be more concerned about work-life balance, according to a 2011 More magazine survey of 500 professional women over age 34. The survey found that 68 percent of childless women said they would prefer more free time over more money, compared to 62 percent of women with children.

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