Study: 60 percent of U.S. workers would take half the pay for a job they love

Cash is crucial, but so are meaningful benefits, opportunities, flexibility and recognition.

Jobs survey

How much money would it take to make you happy at a job you despise?

According to a recent study conducted by Lexington Law, there might not be enough zeroes in the world. Conversely, the research yields a startling find: “Sixty percent of Americans would take a job they love with half their current income over a job they hated that doubled their current income.” (That’s a factor of four; we did the math.)

Lexington Law also finds that “Americans are twice as likely to value personal interests, benefits, company culture and growth opportunities over salary when choosing a job.”

Some are more willing to endure a terrible job in the pursuit of lucre, however. Of the 2,000 respondents, millennials and Gen Xers are the group most likely to choose a soul-sucking job (with double the income). Baby Boomers and women are more likely to opt for a job they’re passionate about—even with a 50 percent pay cut.

What does this mean for communicators and company leaders? Those “ancillary” benefits and elements of your culture might not be so “ancillary” after all.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents to Lexington Law’s survey indicate they value “benefits and company culture” over salary, and 38 percent cite “interests and passion” as their chief career concern.

Other crucial workplace factors for respondents:

  • Growth opportunities
  • Recognition
  • Health-conscious activities or benefits
  • Work-life balance

This is not shocking news for those keeping tabs on employee engagement, but it all bears repeating. Workers today want more than cash, which means workplaces must step up their offerings to keep top employees happy, motivated and inspired.

For further insights on this subject, read more about Lexington Law’s research here.

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