Although just about everyone wants a job that pays well, pay is not as important to most people as one might think. Participants in a survey done by the Society of Human Resource Management found that pay was only the third-most important job happiness factor, with only 57 percent of survey participants naming it among their top choices.
More than pay, most people want to know their job is secure and feel more satisfaction at work if they are confident it is. Sixty-three percent of workers in the Society of Human Resource Management survey said job security was important, making it the top job happiness factor. A study commissioned by the American Business Collaboration also found that job security was the top job satisfaction factor among men under 40 who held non-salaried jobs.
Benefits are another important job satisfaction factor that have universal appeal. Benefits ranked second in the Society of Human Resource Management study, with 60 percent of participants listing them as a top job satisfaction factor. Benefits were also the top factor in job happiness for non-salaried women of all ages and for non-salaried men over 40 in the American Business Collaboration study.
In addition to good pay and benefits, most workers want opportunities, either to advance up the pay scale or to be get additional training and learn new skills. Opportunities ranked as the fourth-most important job satisfaction factor in the Society of Human Resource Management study, with 55 percent of respondents listing it as a top factor. In the American Business Collaboration study, salaried male workers under 30 named opportunities for advancement as their top job happiness factor, while salaried women over 40 said their top factor was the opportunity to learn and grow.
Another top job satisfaction factor for many workers is the ability to strike a balance between work and home life. In the American Business Collaboration study, salaried women in their 30s cited work/life balance as their top job satisfaction survey, while salaried men in their 30s cited a flexible work schedule as their top factor. These results may reflect the needs of working parents.