Lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity to analyse our current positions and really take a look at how, why and when we want to progress. From taking further training in our fields with CPD accreditation, to apply for traditional education to learn new skills, all over the country people are seeking a career change.
However, one of the biggest motivators is the constant endeavour for a higher salary.
But why are we always so focussed on our earnings? While living more comfortably may make certain aspects of our lives easier, does it really bring happiness and will we have to make sacrifices to achieve this?
The CPD Standards Office recently crossed referenced data from The ONS from working professionals across sectors to determine happiness levels in relation to salary.
We discuss the findings below.
Respondents were asked to provide their average weekly salary and how they would rate their level of happiness, not just at work but overall, on a scale of 0-10.
Correlations between higher salaries and happiness levels were found and revealed that retail, trade and repairs came out on top.
The sector had a correlation of over 92%, meaning that those who worked in this industry gained more happiness as their wages grew. Retail managers have known for a while how important happiness in employees is and this shows a reflection.
Other sectors that reported high correlation were accommodation and food service activities, education, administrative and support service activities and manufacturing within engineering and allied industries.
However, there were also industries that reported very little correlation, the lowest was mining and quarrying at a small 22%.
Low scorers also included real estate activities, financial and insurance activities, manufacturing within chemicals and made-made fibres and professional, scientific and technical activities.
While more details as to why these happiness levels were so low, we can quite easily speculate. Many of these industries are highly demanding, mining and quarrying being a good example.
Poorer working conditions teamed, daily risks and hazards and long-term health implications are all a worry for those in this industry. As compensation, these roles are often well paid but it appears this does not satisfy those who are performing these jobs and higher salaries will not bring them happiness.
Anxiety was scored in the same way as happiness and cross referenced to average weekly earnings.
Interestingly, retail trade and repairs reported the highest levels of anxiety, the same sector who reported the highest levels of happiness.
Almost all the top scoring industries for happiness reported higher anxiety. Anxiety can also be confused with unhappiness but this is not the case. Employees can be both anxious and happy side by side.
Typically, as salary increases, so does job responsibility which can lead to increasing levels of anxiety.
The lowest correlation between anxiety and earnings was health and social work. This sector is notorious for high levels of anxiety and these results do not disprove that, rather that as wages increase, these anxiety levels do not.
This could be down to increased support or more experience in a role bringing an ability to cope with this anxiety.
For those who do not live comfortably financially, it is something many aim for. Instead of finding daily expenditure a struggle or simply having enough to get by, many of us see it as ambition to be able to afford more and not have to worry about bills.
However, those who stated they are ‘living comfortably’ showed almost 90% correlation with high anxiety levels, meaning this cash may not be worth it overall.
Being satisfied with earnings doesn’t always equate to higher earnings, rather we are satisfied with what we are paid for the time, effort and skill level we provide in our professions.
Those who stated they were completely satisfied with their wages also reported a 65% correlation with anxiety, showing that even if we feel we are paid a fair wage to our skills, this does not aid mental health.
Bonuses are an incentive for employees to provide certain levels of work and meet targets, they are also provided as motivation and thanks during particularly arduous periods.
They are aimed not just to increase work but also boost staff morale, but it appears that bonuses are not providing this.
Of all the sectors, the higher score between happiness and bonuses was the construction industry, but this was still a poor 41%.
This could be due to the demanding times leading up to achieving this bonus and workers having experiencing extra pressure, the outcome does not justify the means.
It could also be that the sum of these bonuses is not higher enough to create any change in emotion within the workforces.
Overall, the study showed that yes, money can bring happiness and as a huge motivator for career change, this could bring about what we are aiming for.
However, it is not relevant for every industry as many proved that no matter what they are paid, they will still not lead a happier lifestyle.
We also have to be prepared to sacrifice our mental health to some level and be willing to take on more anxiety during our daily lives, something that money can not always compensate for.
For more information and the full study please visit: www.cpdstandards.com/news/more-money-more-happiness/