For most of the past 15 years, I have been working at the "higher" end of the technical spectrum, in both permanent and contracting roles such as tech lead, information architect, product architect, development manager and various senior contract roles.
I'm finding that the work/life balance has started to become totally skewed and I feel the need to pull back down to a less stressful level (and a corresponding lower income of course) into a stable permanent role. I'm going through some personal changes in my life right now and it means being able to spend more time with my kids over the next few years. As an aside, the jobs are slightly closer to where I live but not by a significant distance. It would, however, mean that I have less traffic in the commute.
The problem I am having is that prospective employers are questioning my capacity to work in a lower-level job and not feel that it's "beneath" me. I've assured them that no, I don't particularly have an ego about it and it's about wanting to regain work/life balance by being less stressed, but they are still sceptical and seem concerned that I am overqualified and could be a flight risk to take another high-end job in short order.
My question is, how can I convince a prospective employer that my priorities have changed, I just want to be able to come to work and do my job (very, very well I might add!) and don't feel the need to sit at the top of the ladder anymore?
In response to many good questions in the comments below, this is one option I am considering of several. My question is simply asking how to approach it if I take this option. :)
I had completely forgotten my question here and only realised now that I had not given an update.
Just over four years ago, I found a role that was looking for a lower-level person, but on seeing my CV and experience, hired me at my current level with greater flexibility in my hours. They have a philosophy that matches mine, that we work to live, not the other way around and I am still working here now.
So the solution turned to be as recommended; to continue to work at my level (senior technical architect), but at a company that values their people enough that we can be highly effective and contributive without needing to be a slave to the job.