Delivering Happiness at Work

Main Reasons for Staying in Job are Work-Life Fit and Enjoyment

by jake on 9.24.12

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A survey of 1,240 American adults 18 years and older in full-time or part-time jobs found the main reasons they stay in them are work-life fit and enjoying what they do. Work-life fit means a situation where one’s job meshes well with personal lifestyle choices. For example, a parent who needs to stay at home to take care of a child may adapt to that lifestyle by working from home on a computer. Some stay-at-home parents also will babysit for other working parent’s children and generate some income while taking care of their own children at the same time. (Also, some workplaces have very supportive childcare programs and policies so working parents can leave their children and continuing earning a living knowing their children are having their needs met.)

The survey conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association (The Workforce Retention Study) found 67% of their subjects said they remained in their jobs because of work-life fit. The same percentage said they stay because they enjoy their work. Only 60% of the respondents said they stay in their jobs because of the benefits and 59% identified the pay as a chief motivation to stay.

In a way, the results are heartening because they could be indicating more people are choosing personal satisfaction, and indicating they have found a work/life balance that works for them, even though the general economic conditions are turbulent. An absence of other work opportunities was identified by just 39% of the respondents as the reason for staying in their jobs.

The survey results indicated more women identified work-life fit and work enjoyment as the main reasons to stay in a job. Seventy-two percent of women chose those two reasons, compared with sixty-two percent of men.

There was also a split between older and younger adults. Eighty percent of workers 55 years of age and older indicated enjoying the work as their main reason for staying. For workers aged 35-44, 67% said pay was a top motivator.

The Workforce Retention Study was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Image Credit: Benn, Wiki Commons

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