Men at Work: Five Things We Learned from Our Career Survey

Including: Definitive evidence that money won’t buy happiness

By The Editors

Definitive Evidence That Money Won’t Buy Happiness
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01 March 2016

Last month, we asked our readers 22 questions about their jobs, from the length of their workdays to the levels of their stress to the number of zeroes at the end of their salaries.

Our real objective, though, was to answer but one:

Are you happy?

Three-thousand, eight-hundred and sixty-eight of you answered.

Here are five things we learned.

1. Cash is king — but barely.

When asked what they valued most about their current job, 37% of our readers responded “Compensation,” while 36% responded “People/Culture.” You need look no further than the plentiful boons of quote Startup Culture unquote to understand why.

2. But if it is cash you seek, you better be ready to work.

While only 13% of our readers reported working more than 60 hours a week, they were also some of the highest earners. In fact, that 60-hour mark proved to be directly correlative with salary.

Among readers who earned $500k+/year, 46 percent worked more than 60 hours a week.
$200-500k? 25 percent.
$100-200k? 12 percent.
Less than $100k? 8 percent.

3. Teachers want more money, and probably deserve it.

Overall, 48% of respondents said they feel they’re underpaid. But broken down by industry, one group deviated furthest from the norm, at 65 percent — nearly 10 points higher than any other. That industry? Research and academia.

So should we pay teachers more money? If we want smarter children, then yes. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal covered The Equity Project, a Manhattan charter school that gave teachers drastic pay raises. The result? Equally drastic improvements in student performance.

4. You are not what you do … Unless you’re an entrepreneur.

Seventy-two percent of our readers said they define themselves more by their life outside of work than their nine-to-five. The exception? Entrepreneurs and small business owners, 44 percent of whom reported the opposite. No other industry topped 30 percent.

5. Money still won’t buy you happiness.

Some 35% of respondents reported that they had, at some point, intentionally taken a pay cut to get out of a job. Their reasons were many: more time at home, change of career path, reduced stress level, better health, etc. But their resounding takeaway was the same: more than twice as many reported taking a hit as “a great choice” versus “a regret.” That’s a good omen for the 37% of you who said you haven’t taken a pay cut but would certainly consider it.

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