Is a Big Salary Really What We Want?

The job we do certainly needs to give us enough money to live on, but according to a survey of over 30,000 people aged between 18 and 35 from 186 countries, the salary we’re paid isn’t the only important factor when it comes to choosing a job.

Is a big salary really what we want?

When asked what “the most important criteria when considering job opportunities” were, 49.3% said that salary was important, but not far behind was a sense of purpose/impact on society –with 40.6% putting this as an important criterion. Respondents were allowed to choose up to three choices for important criteria, and other most-chosen answers were; growth/career advancement (40%), work-life balance (30.7%), and flexibility/autonomy (28.1%).

Other surveys have also found that ethics play a big role in the jobs which younger people want. Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial Survey found that respondents want “business as a force for positive change”. In the 2019 Millennial Survey from Deloitte it was found that societal impact and ethics are the most common reasons why millennials change their relationships with businesses – buying from them or otherwise.

While societal impact and ethics played a big role in relationships with businesses in general, it’s not a reason generally cited when it comes to changing jobs. In the 2019 Deliotte Survey, the millennials and Gen Zs who said that they planned to leave their current organisations in the next two years were planning to do so because of either; dissatisfaction with pay (43% millennials, 34% Gen Zs), not enough opportunities to advance (35% millennials, 33% Gen Zs), or because of a lack of learning and development opportunities (28% millennials, 27% Gen Zs).

It’s clear that salary isn’t everything. If companies want to encourage the younger generation to come and work with them, then they’ll need to go further than just offering a large pay cheque.