I am an MSc student and one future direction I have been thinking about is the potential of pursuing a professorship after I do a PhD. Why do I want to be a professor? I enjoy the back and forth of doing research - while at times it's frustrating to figure things out, I think it's a good proxy for workplace freedom (by my standards) and I know that I would enjoy teaching.
Where I don't think that I would entirely fit the mold of a professorship is that I am not so concerned with having the top publications or cranking out as many papers as I can, but that's not to say I anticipate producing one paper a year and then putting my feet up on my desk. Relative to others who are more concerned about having top publications or many papers, I would probably be the 'less preferred' candidate for the job - which is okay. I am in no hunt for accolades, awards, or praise.
But I think that approaching a professorship from a balanced and holistic approach where I can work on research, teach, and maintain a healthy work-life balance would be something that I could grow to love. However, my perspective and approach to a professorship might be naive, which would also be horrifying to find out when it's too late.
So do you think that it is possible to have a healthy work-life balance as a professor or is that approach to a professorship, at least early on, not realistic for the modern market place of academia?