- Only 25% of Americans are currently in their dream job, according to a new survey by MidAmerica Nazarene University. Most of the 2,000 Americans polled said they'd like to work in the entertainment industry, while many were satisfied in their current professions, which included HR, IT, accounting, government and healthcare.
- Respondents who said they currently held their "dream job" were more likely to be earning a high salary, holding a doctoral degree, living in the Southwest and belonging to the baby-boom generation. Forty-one percent of respondents said they want to be business owners, but not if they have to work more than 60 hours a week. Only 12% of those surveyed said they want a C-suite title.
- California is the dream destination for most respondents, who also prefer a short commute and a 9-to-5 schedule. Respondents also preferred 52 days of paid time off a year, a 38-hour workweek and working remotely 11 days a month. Male respondents said they wanted an average annual salary of $444,958, while women wanted an average annual salary of $278,637. Although women and men had similar job goals, their priorities differed: women wanted flexibility first, followed by creative freedom and a good income, while men wanted a good income first, followed by flexibility and creative freedom, researchers said.
Dream jobs are a common topic of conversation, but most people also want a meaningful job, according to a recent study by digital platform Betterup. Respondents in the Betterup survey also indicated they would work harder over longer hours and for less pay if their work had meaning. Similarly, Globoforce's WorkHuman Research Institute and IBM's Smarter Workforce Institute released a study showing that meaningful work is a major driver of positive employee experience.
Plus, meaningful work can be a win-win for employers and workers. The same report published by Globoforce and IBM found that organizations scoring in the top 25 percentile on employee experience see a return on assets nearly three times that of organizations in the bottom quarter percentile. Researchers in the study also found that a positive employee experience gives employers an edge in attracting, hiring and retention of talent.
One way employers can encourage autonomy is to ensure they have the tools, knowledge and training they need contribute substantially to the meaningfulness of their work. Middle managers, who play a key role in talent development, can work to help employees become self-starters.