Satisfaction, being challenged and ‘making a difference’ are among a list of benefits Brits believe they reap by going to work, according to a study.
Far from slaving away just for the money, millions of workers are coming home from the day job with a raft of positive emotions, including a feeling that they are helping others and a sense of purpose.
Many also enjoy the good company of work colleagues who become friends in their own right, a sense of worth and being given the opportunity to learn new things.
The study shatters the myth that many don’t care about their work and just see it as a 9-5 job, with 65 per cent saying they feel proud of the work they do. In fact, half of workers admitted they would prefer a job which didn’t pay particularly well but which left them feeling fulfilled. Just 20 per cent would opt for a well-paid but unfulfilling job.
Martin Kersey, HR Director at specialist mental healthcare charity St Andrew’s Healthcare, which commissioned the research said: “The right career choice can be more than financially rewarding; it can also contribute positively to your mental health. For many people, the job or career they have is a huge part of their identity and allows them to do something which can really make a difference to others. This is why many nurses and people working in the healthcare sector chose to join the profession; because they want to make a real difference. One in four people experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and at St Andrew’s we care for people with the most complex of mental health problems. It is not always the easiest environment to work in but despite its challenges, we hear inspiring stories from our staff everyday about how our patients are progressing towards recovery. By working together we are able to transform the lives of people in our care, their families and carers.”
The study of 2,000 workers found a feeling of satisfaction is the biggest positive they get from their jobs followed by knowing they are helping others and being challenged. A sense of purpose and good company complete the top five positive benefits of their careers. But while 68 per cent name money as one of the main reasons for going to work, 22 per cent do so to feel worthwhile while one in five want to make a difference.
Others head off to work to feel rewarded, to do something they believe in and so that they can have their own identity. And four in 10 would rather work in a role which was challenging than one which was too easy and required little brain power. But not everyone is content in their career as the research, carried out via OnePoll.com, found more than one in five don’t feel fulfilled in their job with another 26 per cent stuck in a role which doesn’t challenge them at all. One in 10 even admitted they don’t care about the work they do with four in 10 going as far as to say they feel embarrassed about their career in front of others. Forty-two per cent would even be prepared to take a pay cut if it meant they would be more fulfilled and rewarded in their work.
It emerged 14 per cent of people have lied to others about what they do, with more than half of those doing so because they felt the people they were with had more worthwhile jobs. Others lied as they worried their job wasn’t as important in comparison to the other person’s career while more than one in 20 fear it made them look selfish. More than half have also felt jealous when hearing how fulfilled other people are in their careers, with 53 per cent going as far as changing jobs so they can have a role which is more rewarding.
Top 10 positive things Brits get from their jobs
2. A feeling that they are helping others
3. A challenge
4. A sense of purpose
5. Good company
6. A feeling they are making a difference
7. A sense of fulfilment
8. A sense of worth
9. An opportunity to learn new things
Top 10 reasons for going to work
1. To earn money
2. To feel worthwhile
3. To make a difference
4. To feel rewarded
5. To get me out of the house
6. To chat with colleagues
7. To do something I believe in
8. To allow me to have my own identity
9. To meet new people
10. For company
by Gemma Francis