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What’s a ‘Good Job,’ Anyway?

Topics: Data & Research
good job

What makes a good job, well … good?

People tend to agree that certain factors are crucial. Salary and benefits matter regardless of where you’re working, for example. Still, other preferred elements are generational or change as you get further along in your career.

Recently, Business Insider surveyed 1,037 people about what a “good job” means to them. How do your values compare?

Some things never change

There are certain things that have always mattered when it comes to what defines a good job. And, they’ll most likely to continue to be just as significant in the years ahead. Factors like health insurance (87 percent), paid vacation (75 percent) and a retirement account (73 percent), were dubbed essential by lots of workers.

Young people were found to be a bit more pessimistic than older workers about the possibility of someday collecting a pension. Survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were 19 percentage points less likely than the average to say that a pension is an essential ingredient for a good job. Respondents over the age of 60, who have a much different perspective of retirement, were 13 percentage points more likely than the average respondent to define pensions as essential.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Some valued factors are less than concrete  

Researchers found that certain complex factors like “personal fulfillment” were important when characterizing good jobs today. But, elements like these aren’t always easy to define, never mind for employers to control. Still, there are some real and measurable things that companies can do to help boost feelings of fulfillment among their workers.

Another popular idea revealed by this survey was that a good job is one that enables work-life balance. Seventy-four percent of respondents said this was a defining aspect, as far as they were concerned.

Flexibility was also seen essential to a good job. More than half of all survey respondents said that it was important to them. However, women were 13 percentage points more likely to value flexibility as a top factor.

This Factor Matters More to Older Workers

Some aspects of a good job, so to speak, are universal. Other factors are individual. And, some elements change with age. This research found that, as people age, they tend to value prestige less. They also start to value company culture more.

Honest management is one of the essential keys to a positive company culture, according to Fred Goff, CEO of Jobcase. Goff told Business Insider that managers should be upfront about things like hours, pay, etc. — and not change tracks unexpectedly on their staff.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you think defines a good job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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