What do you value most in your job?


The surprising survey result shows how priorities have changed with the current economic situation.
Key Takeaways
  • People are looking for a tailored response
  • Age, gender, career stage and household living situation are things to take into account
  • Report finds cost of living is now far too high to not prioritise salary
woman counting money in an office in front of files
Image source: Getty Images

Inflation has hit hard and it has smashed expectations about what people value most in a job.

While you might have thought a cool workplace vibe and flexibility would take first place, more than half of Australian employees in a recent report said salary was most important.

Feeling fulfilled and having a sense of purpose was a sound second place, as 63% of respondents in the Future X Collective research said salary was their biggest priority.

Employees shouldn’t have to choose between an appropriate salary and work with purpose, as a holistic experience of work should offer both, says co-founder of Future X Collective, Angela Ferguson.

Co-founder of Future X Collective, Angela Ferguson | Image source: Supplied

Many people will identify ‘purposeful work’ as that which is meaningful to themselves and others, by creating a positive impact on the world around them. Finding the balance between what the business needs to create revenue and drive growth, and what employees desire from their working experience is where workplaces will thrive, Ferguson says.

“Our research shows that most individuals require a tailored response depending on their age, gender, career stage and household living situation.”

Currently, more women ranked feeling fulfilled and having purpose higher (26%) compared to men (18%), while more men ranked salary as most important to them (40%) compared with women (35%).

Almost half of Gen Z and Millennials (45%) ranked salary as the most important, while only one in 10 Boomers (12%) ranked it first.

Several respondents expressed that they were seeking more work-life balance, while others stated the cost of living was far too high to not prioritise salary.