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Most Americans Don’t Have Their Dream Job Just Yet

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A new survey paints a rather sad picture of the Land of Dreams from the American worker’s perspective, with data showing that only 25 percent of U.S. citizens have managed to land their dream job, and most just aren’t satisfied, even if many are earning enough money to make them the global elite.  

In other words, money is being made, but is anyone enjoying doing it?

The survey, by MidAmerica Nazarene University, notes that the 25-percenters who are earning high salaries in their dream jobs are primarily Baby Boomers with doctoral degrees and living in the Southwest.

And according to the 2,000 Americans surveyed, the dream job apparently consists of not having to drive far, working in a small office, not pulling overtime and having a sizable lunch break. (We thought it would be doing something you are passionate about, but we were wrong).

By these measures, California constituted the venue most frequently equated with a dream job, but more specifically, the parameters in this venue included driving less than two miles to an office housing fewer than 30 employees and offering 9-5 hours with a one-hour lunch break. They also want to keep co-worker relationships professional and aren’t looking for new best friends.

Some indicated that working in the entertainment industry would qualify as a dream job, while others would like to travel more—though not to and from work, per se.

Over 40 percent of respondents said their dream was to be a business owner, though they would eschew this track if it mean working more than 60 hours a week. Another 12 percent dreamed of a C-suite title, while 23 percent had ambitions for roles in mid-level management, and 18 percent wanted Associate positions.

In more detail, the study offers this dream map by industry:

(Click to enlarge)

And when it comes to salary, the dream job consists of varying numbers, depending on gender. While men dream of a salary of around $445,000, according to the survey, women set their dream sites on something much lower: $279,000.

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Both men and women listed “matched 401ks” and “help with student loans” as a dream job priority, but from there the gender demands diverge a bit. While women want the ability to work remotely, flexible schedules and unlimited vacation times, men want … well, snacks. But then they want gym memberships to work those snacks off. Men also wanted the ability to work remotely, though would presumably forego this if snacks were offered frequently.

U.S. Census Bureau figures largely dash those dream job hopes, showing that the average American only earned about $61,300 last year—up 1.8 percent from 2016.

Research from PayScale shows that the median salary for a woman with a BA tops out at about $61,000, while for a man with college degree it’s just under $95,000.

But even with six figures salary, Americans are still richer than 90 percent of the population around the world. Those with a net worth of $93,170 are among global 10 percent, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute's 2018 Global Wealth Report, which notes that “more than 19 million Americans currently qualify as the top one percent and more than 102 million Americans as the top 10 percent worldwide, far more than any other country”.

The dream job study doesn’t mean to suggest that everyone dissatisfied or disillusioned. The university study noted that those are working in accounting, broadcast and journalism, construction, education, engineering, entertainment, government, healthcare, HR, IT, legal, non-profit and social work, science, and skilled labor and trade were all fine with where they were for the most part.

By Michael Scott for Safehaven.com

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