UK professionals place a good salary as their top career priority

Half of UK professionals place a ‘good salary’ as their top career priority, as CV-Library discovers how career priorities have shifted in recent years.

January saw application rates soar by a staggering 83.6 per cent across the UK, suggesting that many job hunters are on the lookout for their next opportunity. With this in mind, CV-Library sought to reveal what professionals value most in a job, with a good salary (58.1 per cent) and friendly colleagues (48.2 per cent) topping the list.

The survey of over 1,200 workers reveals half (55.6 per cent) of the nation are unhappy in their current roles. This job dissatisfaction could be one of the driving factors behind last month’s hike in application rates. When asked to share what they believe to be the biggest contributing factors to their own workplace happiness, professionals revealed that their top career priorities include:

  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

Interestingly, salary was the driving factor for the majority of men (61.3 per cent) but this was not the case for their female counterparts. In fact, friendly colleagues came top of the list for the majority (54.9 per cent) of women, just slightly above a good salary (53 per cent).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘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. But this doesn’t just mean fair salaries and workplace perks. A great company culture and a friendly workforce should also be a priority.’

What’s more, when comparing these factors with data from February 2016, the findings suggest that that there has been a shift in the career priorities of UK professionals. In fact, the job role and its responsibilities was the number one career priority for workers two years ago (54.4 per cent), shortly followed by salary (45.6 per cent).

Biggins concludes, ‘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.’

Further reading on salary

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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