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Opinion: Working to live

A new study has revealed that 42 per cent of Brits would be prepared to take a pay cut if it meant they would be more fulfilled. Jade Burke, editor of PA Life, asks why it’s not all about the money anymore?

“The right career choice can be more than financially rewarding; it can also contribute positively to your mental health,” said St Andrew’s Healthcare HR director, Martin Kersey, in a recent study.

We’ve all be there – in a job that pays the bills and everything in between. But you can’t shake that feeling of dread when you walk through the doors to start your working day. And it seems it isn’t all about the money anymore when it comes to our jobs, as many Brits now consider the pay check to be less important.

In fact, according to a new study of 2,000 workers by mental health charity St Andrew’s Healthcare, half admitted they would prefer a job that didn’t pay particularly well, but which left them feeling fulfilled. Just 20 per cent would opt for a well-paid but unfulfilling job. Meanwhile, 42 per cent claimed they would be prepared to take a pay cut if it meant they would be more fulfilled and rewarded in their work.

It’s so refreshing to hear that employees do value their career and don’t just see it as a traditional nine-to-five role that brings in the dough at the end of the month.

Getting the chance to make a difference in the workplace and feel challenged certainly makes for a better day; one where employees can put their stamp on a task and express themselves. I certainly love the fact that I can walk into the office and showcase my creativity throughout the day, by managing different jobs and offering my suggestions to the various tasks at hand.

“It’s so refreshing to hear that employees do value their career and don’t just see it as a traditional nine-to-five role.”

According to the 2,000 workers who were surveyed, satisfaction came out top, while good company, a sense of purpose, unpredictability and the opportunity to learn new things were all priorities.

We bandy around the term ‘job satisfaction’ so often that it really shouldn’t be ignored – our mental health depends on it. As Kersey explained: “The right career choice can be more than financially rewarding; it can also contribute positively to your mental health.”

With such a current key focus on the importance of mental health in the workplace, it’s never been more imperative to find a role that is right for you. It can be an overwhelming thought, but as the saying goes, ‘work to live, don’t live to work’.