HR · 26 February 2018

Good salary tops league table of career priorities among UK workers

Career priorities
The size of a pay packet has overtaken job role as the biggest priority for workers

Earning a good salary has become the most important aspect of working life, as new survey findings reveal the top ten career priorities of professional workers in Britain.

According to the research, conducted by CV-Library, 58.1 per cent of professionals ranked their pay ambitions as their highest priority at work.

Friendly colleagues followed closely at 48.2 per cent, with company culture and learning opportunities failing to have as much influence.

The emphasis on pay packets represents a shift in outlook among workers in the past two years. When CV-Library undertook the same survey in February 2016, aspects of job role were considered most central to workplace happiness.

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Top ten career priorities in Britain

  1. A good salary – 58.1 per cent
  2. Friendly colleagues – 48.2 per cent
  3. Great company culture – 40 per cent
  4. Room for progression – 33.5 per cent
  5. Learning new skills – 28.2 per cent
  6. A nice boss – 22.4 per cent
  7. Flexible working opportunities – 13.3 per cent
  8. Good location close to home – 11.5 per cent
  9. Interesting daily responsibilities – 10.9 per cent
  10. Good workplace perks – 10.4 per cent

When separated by gender, almost two-thirds of men ranked their pay packet as the most important career priority. On the other hand, female ranked friendly colleagues slightly ahead of salary as the driver of workplace happiness.

Commenting on the findings, CV-Library founder Lee Biggins urged employers to listen to the career priorities of workers.

“Candidates are storming the job market like never before and it’s clear that many are searching for roles with a strict set of criteria in mind. As such, it’s important that businesses are offering the full package.

He added: “But this doesn’t just mean fair salaries and workplace perks. A great company culture and a friendly workforce should also be a priority.”

Reflecting on the shifting priorities of workers, Biggins suggested the emphasis on income over culture and responsibilities reflected uncertain economic conditions.

“It’s interesting to see this shift in career priorities, with professionals no longer placing as much importance on the role itself. It’s definitely important to enjoy what you do and this should always be a priority when moving jobs. That said the move is not surprising given ongoing economic uncertainty, as today’s professionals seek financial stability.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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