If there's one thing in life that is hard to find, it's a job that not only pays well but also doesn't stress you the F out.
And, boy, did they deliver. So we gathered a few of their answers about their career journeys and jobs for you to read below.
1. "I spent most of my adult life living paycheck to paycheck. I traveled abroad for a few years after high school while working odd jobs, then I worked in restaurants to pay for a pretty severe academic habit: undergrad then straight into a PhD program. Eventually I got sick of being constantly stressed out with no money, so I decided to abandon my doctoral program and find a career where my research and problem-solving skills would be well remunerated."
2. "I’m an esthetician and work at a waxing chain. I’ve been there for eight years and have a super-solid client base. I get paid 40% commission on services plus tips. It averages out to about $40/hour. Extremely low stress in that I don’t have to take my work home, deal with deadlines, or do projects with people who don’t pull their weight."
3. "I’m an RN for a big health insurance company. I review medical claims from hospitals. I receive an annual salary of about $100K, in addition to annual raises and performance bonuses. My work is 100% remote; my hours are flexible so it accommodates me as a single mom. I don’t work weekends and holidays, and I get 35 days of vacation time every year. Having a financially stable and flexible job has been a blessing for me and my daughter."
4. "I’m a user experience researcher. I work from home, have flexible hours, and make $150K salary plus yearly bonus and stock options. The best part for me is when I sign off for the day/weekend, I don’t have to think twice about anything. I can truly disconnect. It can get a little stressful at times, but I’m extremely happy overall."
5. "I’m a store manager in luxury retail and make six figures. A degree isn’t required, and you can work your way up internally from a sales associate role. My job is fun because each day is different and I have wonderful relationships with my team members. It’s a supportive environment, and I get to leverage my creativity and strategic agility to drive the business. Plus, I get a discount on designer clothes, shoes, bags, the works!"
6. "I’m a translator and work for a government contractor. The job is fully remote, I completely make my own hours, I meet with my boss over a 15-minute phone call every other week to check on my progress, and that’s the only supervision I have. I set my own deadlines, and with my upcoming 11% raise, I will be making $100K. I get whatever paid time off I want, including all federal holidays, profit sharing and 401(k) matching, free medical/dental/vision, a birthday gift and Christmas gift, and at least one generous bonus each year. The whole company gets together once a year to catch up and discuss tradecraft, and we all truly are friends, and I actually enjoy the meetings."
"The owner of the small company I work for actually believes that life is waaaaaayyy more important than work, and always, always goes the extra mile for her employees. I don’t particularly love my actual job, but I could NEVER justify leaving this company, and it’s really rare that anyone ever does. At least my company’s perks give me the freedom to pursue things I’m actually passionate about in my free time.
The best part of working for my company is that my husband was able to retire right before his 40th birthday, and he is a very happy househusband, taking care of me and our fur babies. I thank my lucky stars every day that my company recruited me, and I will work this boring-ass job until I can’t anymore. 😂"
7. "I’m a holistic academic coach and ADHD coach. I work four to five hours four days a week, generally. I used to be an ESE teacher and took online courses in coaching skills, mindfulness, education consulting, and more to bolster my credentials. I mainly work one-on-one with students, but I can also offer workshops, training, and consulting. I make about $4K–5K a month, and I’m actually undercharging."
8. "Payroll Compliance Specialist. I make sure employers can pay and file their unemployment insurance by registering them up in states they have new employees in or giving the company I work for third-party access to be able to file and pay. I also work from home, so no bosses looking over you shoulder."
9. "I work as an e-commerce manager for a well-known nonprofit company, and will clear over six figures this year. I’m 31 years old and have been with the company for over 10 years, so I know all the ins and outs of the business. I have no degree, but did attend college for a short period of time after high school without graduating. I get promoted with a large pay increase every two years and get a 5% pay increase yearly. I also make about $8K–$10K a year in bonuses as well."
10. "I'm a pre-sales consultant. I work 9 to 5 remotely, can travel as much as you see fit, make six figures with healthy monthly bonuses, and don't have a ton of 'hustle culture.' Bonus, this field tends to be pretty female dominated depending on the company you work for!"
11. "Voice acting is a low-stress job to me because I get to work in my pajamas and audition at my desk, standing or sitting, with a cup of coffee every morning. The only stressful part is getting the lines right in a live-directed session with multiple people judging your performance. Multiple takes can be tedious, but commercials and YouTube scripts pay relatively well compared to games or anime."
12. "I am a behavioral scientist (really a consultant). I work from home and have a very flexible schedule. My pay ($120K+ annually) and benefits are great. I did admittedly go to school for a long time and have two master's degrees and a PhD. But it was also important not to fixate on one career path or industry or try to stay directly within my field of study. Being willing to learn and try new things has worked out well so far!"
13. "Endangered species observer. You get to make your own schedule but are usually about four weeks on board a ship. Then you get off for two weeks, where you’re free to do whatever you want and wherever. Get paid $250 every day. You’re on a ship, but may only actually work 15–45 minutes a day. The rest of the day, you’re free to read, watch Netflix, or work out. I make around $55K a year to whale watch and document sea turtles. It may not seem like much, but you work two-thirds of the year and get a two-week vacation every four weeks."
14. "I’m a patent translator. I translate patent documents for clients and get paid per word. Because of my PTSD, it gets overwhelming for me to be around people, so it works well that I get to work at home and make six figures doing it."
15. "I’m a buyer for a furniture company. I make six figures, travel to fun and interesting places, and work with lots of different kinds of people from all over the country and the world. I am judged by my category sales, so there is an element of stress there, but it’s not like we’re saving lives. We sell items people use to furnish and decorate their homes. I really enjoy the process of developing an idea, to the sample stage, to getting it in our floors, and seeing what does and doesn’t resonate with our customers."
16. "Technical recruitment manager, and I was a recruiter for years as well. If you have the knack for reading people quickly and a bit of sales skill, it’s a sweet gig. I realistically work 20–25 hours a week from home and make $200K. You’ll need a bachelor's, and to work your way through the ranks to get to tech recruitment — but once you crack it, it’s a great industry and role."
17. "University professor (medieval history). I choose my schedule, the classes I teach, and my research agenda. I love what I do, so it never feels like work. I spend my summers traveling, relaxing, and enjoying my life. I don’t remember the last time I felt anything close to stress. I make a really, really good income (salary plus grant money, book royalties, and a research stipend). It is literally a dream job. It took 11 years of school (BA, MA, and a PhD), but it was worth all of it."
18. "Employee at a small nonprofit strategy firm. I essentially do grant writing and grant management for five clients. I do one 30-minute Zoom call a week per client, spending the rest of the time researching grant opportunities, writing grant proposals and reports, or emailing clients for data I need to put into said proposal/report. Work culture is work from where you'd like; I prefer four days in the office and one day at home. I have a very nice dual monitor setup there, and it makes going to the gym convenient. I was able to go from two weeks of paid vacation to four or five months, and have received a 20% pay raise each year for the past two years, currently at $65K with a 401(k) and employer match."
"There's mild stress only when deadlines pile up, but the boss is clear that as long as we ask for what we need in a timely manner, missed deadlines are on the client, not us. I get to work with a wide range of nonprofits, help organizations that are doing great work, and I am not underpaid or overworked for the first time in a decade.
Being a consultant instead of a nonprofit employee means management doesn't BS with us. I am kept out of office politics, and my advice is given weight. When new programs are being workshopped before being submitted for funding, I can apply my learnings from my master's program, which means I am finally using my degree as well."
—Sarah, 30, New Jersey
19. "I'm a medical writer for a small pharmaceutical company. Medical writers work with physicians, scientists, nurses, and healthcare administrators to write the documents that go to the FDA and manuscripts that are sent to scientific journals. I work very reasonable nine to five hours with very predictable hours and deadlines. Entry level starts at $80K."
20. "I’m a government contractor working as a communications specialist. I make $90K. I worked in nonprofits for eight years and got my master's in corporate communications and public relations in 2020. Nonprofit work was great, but the pay wasn’t great. The cost of living in DC was too high for me to not take advantage of a higher-paying opportunity. I work 40 hours a week remotely. As a contractor, I’m unable to have my work email on my phone or work internationally, so when you’re away, you’re away. The pace is slower than my previous roles, but I’m using my degree and I enjoy it. I’m able to flex my time, and leave is encouraged frequently on all levels. It’s nice to see leadership taking leave and flexibility for new parents."
—Elisa, 29, Washington, DC
21. "I work at a clothing store where we’re supposed to help you with all of your shopping. I get paid $1,000 per day, and I work five days a week."
22. "My job is automating documents and processes at a law firm. I was a paralegal for decades before the pandemic hit and lost my job when lockdown started. I got a new contract job working from home; it was supposed to be a legal assistant position working with loans, but it morphed into basically making sense of massive amounts of data to figure out the underlying issues in order to direct the loan to the correct team."
"I realized I loved working with data. Then I read an article about the Google's Certificate programs and enrolled in the Data Analyst program. After my contract ended, I hadn’t finished the program, but I found a law firm through an online site who was looking for a data specialist.
It is a perfect fit. I no longer deal with the stress of courts and clients. I just help whoever needs it by creating systems or documents that will make their job easier. I love it! It’s like solving puzzles every day for money."
—Janet, 58, Georgia
23. "I’m a civil engineer for a city's Department of Water and Power. I get to go out to the field a lot, and I’ve never gotten out of work late. I have monthly field reports to fill out and bigger quarterly reports that are pretty much low effort to get done. I never stress about work, and I’m able to live comfortably. It’s well worth the four-year civil engineering degree. There’s plenty of room for growth, and I started at $42 an hour, which has been increasing ever since."
24. "I’m a 30-year-old speech language pathologist. I did have to get through grad school to be an SLP, but I absolutely love my job, and it was so worth it. I work in a doctor's office with kids. It’s honestly a lot of playing games with kids while we work on their goals. 95% of my patients and families are great to work with, and I’m someone who can put good boundaries on my role with them and understand I can’t fix all of their problems for them. It took a while to get there, but now I work with about 10 kids in a day, work on their communication goals, and do some paperwork to document our work together. I work four days a week and get paid $85,000 a year."
"I literally NEVER think about work after I leave my office, and pediatric therapists in general are a pretty chill group of people, and I really like almost all of my coworkers.
I know SLPs in the schools and hospitals face some more stress than I do, but overall, I love being in a field where I feel well compensated, have a flexible position, and am autonomous with no supervision or anyone telling me what to do. The best part of the job though is definitely the change I make in people’s lives.
I have been in the room with children who say their first word, tell their parents they love them for the first time, and teach children how to read, which changes their lives with communication skills."
—Virgina, 30, Washington
25. "Self-employed housekeeper. I listen to podcasts and music, clean two or three houses a day. Rarely start before 9:30 a.m., rarely work later than 3:45 p.m. I feel productive and being of service every day. I make way more than any office job I’ve worked. Good full-time wages for way less than full-time hours."
26. "I’m a gratitude coordinator and quite literally get to say thank you for a living. I work in a fundraising office for a wealthy private college, but instead of asking for money, I do the thanking. Everyone likes feeling appreciated, so I am well liked and very well paid. I have a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field but have a heart to make people feel seen and special, and that’s what I get to do. I never bring work home with me, have never worked a weekend, and have great benefits."
—Bell, 31, Virginia
27. "I’m a registered massage therapist in BC. I currently make $120/hr. Although it is a physically demanding profession, and I only get paid for my hands-on time, it’s very low stress. Getting a massage is generally the best part of anyone's day, and everyone is either cheery or relieved to see you. I work in a room with soft lighting and gentle music, and if my client falls asleep, I listen to podcasts while I work. I’m self-employed, so I make my own hours and work as much or as little as I want, on whatever days I choose. RMTs are also in extremely high demand, so it’s the kind of job where you interview the clinic (as opposed to the clinic interviewing you)."
28. "I started working in a nursing home a few years back as an activities assistant. We had the fun jobs in the building. The sole purpose of our position was to keep our residents engaged and happy. I loved it so much that I applied, and got, an activity director position at a beautiful new assisted living facility. Now I’m the one coming up with fun, engaging, and exciting activities and entertainment for our 60-plus residents. I make a very decent living and get to play games and have fun on a daily basis. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can truly say I love my job."
—Anonymous, 36, Florida
29. "I’m a product marketing manager at Google! I’ve held several different positions in tech before, and this is by far the least stressful. No coding and little need for analytics, I spend most of my time talking to various business partners and creating documentation. The pay is exceptional, especially when you factor in the perks or compare working hours to people in finance or medicine. The trick is getting staffed on a product area that leadership doesn’t care about. You’re pretty much paid the same as the high-visibility products but have not even a tenth of the pressure!"
30. "I’m in eCommerce for a large international company, managed mostly by women. I do sales and promotion management, with some light HTML coding. When I applied (during the height of the Great Resignation), I went in with low expectations. To my surprise, I was offered around $7K more than what I asked, and that’s before the $5K in yearly bonuses. Within less than a year, I have received three raises, plus my company has also started doing monthly stipends. I’m now making more than double what the household income is for my state. I usually only work six to seven hours a day, finishing by 4 p.m. No nights, no weekends, and my company is in the process of dropping down to four days a week."
"I have unlimited sick time, double vacation (compared to where I was before), and double paid holidays. Plus, it's 100% remote.
My advice? Start at a small mom business. The pay isn’t great, but they will let you learn anything and try anything. Want to take on coding emails? Go for it! Want to take on designing a post card for the top customers? Cool, let us know when it’s done. You’ll gain working experience that you can put on your resume.
Your path is 100% what you make of it. And when you decide what you think you want to do, check out the current job market for that position. Then you’ll know what those skills are worth, who your audience is, and what other skills you may need to stand out. Once you think you're close, build your resume and RUN!"
—Anonymous, 38 Kansas
31. "For over a decade, I taught seventh-grade English, and it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. There was a lot of violence, and I cried most days. Then I started teaching adults ESL for the same salary. I make $138,000, but I get a raise every year, and I can work overtime. I get to meet people from around the world and learn about their cultures every day. I love my job, and most days it doesn’t feel like work. I love my students plus their gratitude and eagerness to learn."
32. "I work as a learning experience designer at a large recruitment company. I work in a big team that designs all of the training that company employees go through. I work from home and always do 9 to 5 hours. I have a good mix of working with others and also having time to design on my own. I started out as a recruiter for this company, but was able to join the Learning & Development team after about a year and a half. My degree is in accounting so no way related to what I’m doing! I make just over $100K, and I’ve been doing this job for one year."
—Anonymous, 30, Connecticut
33. And finally, "I sell high-end watches for a 'holy trinity' brand. I make almost $200K a year and spend three-fourths of the day lounging on a couch, and the other one-fourth casually chatting with clients who are trying to impress me, so they're supremely polite and kind. I have fully paid health insurance, six weeks of paid vacation, stock options and 401(k), etc. I also take trips to Switzerland a few times a year, and meet some fascinating people with unique stories, from A-list actors and Super Bowl winners to princesses and lottery winners. It’s a hard industry to enter and requires a lot of constant studying, but I love what I do and recognize how fortunate I am!!"
Do you currently have a low-stress, well-paying job? If so, tell us what you to do and how you acquired this position.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.