Most People Want More Than Money for Their Work


Gone are the days when a company could just flash its cash and get employees to do their bidding. At the Tech Career Expo in San Francisco, I asked people what were their top motivators for getting a new job. Only two people mentioned money. Everyone else talked about the need to work on something of value, something they cared about, and be recognized for the work that they do.

Does that describe you, or are you motivated by something completely different? Tell me by posting a comment below.

No Responses to “Most People Want More Than Money for Their Work”

  1. bigmike2238

    I agree with what the majority of people said in the video. For me, enjoying what I do and having opportunities to learn from people is more important than a paycheck. I think that’s why a lot of us try to get in to IT because we truly want to learn, test, and expand our knowledge in new and exciting ways. I also think it’s important to have a job that supports you both in and out of work. If I can find a job that I love doing and be able to sustain my current standard of living in the process, I don’t know what else I could possibly ask for.

  2. Money is certainly a motivator, but it isn’t THE motivator. I need to enjoy what I do, be challenged, and feel like I have a reasonable shot at success in my job. And I also need to feel respected by management, even if I don’t need to always be “liked.”

  3. Glen Smith

    “the need to work on something of value, something they cared about, and be recognized for the work that they do.”

    All these are generally code words for “I want to make more money”, “I want to work fewer hours for the same money”, “I want to do something where my job is safe but I don’t have to do anything beyond my job description”, “I’ll take less now for a certainty of more in the future” or “I will take just what I need to not hurt my social status if my opportunity cost of work here are low and/or the contribution to my social status (like working for an organization popular among my peers) is high”.

    • @Glen Smith: You seem to be rather cynical here. I assume you are neither a software developer, nor a fan of them?

      I enjoy building things. I love to make good money; after 15+ years in the industry (and loads of sacrifice) I feel I deserve it. But nothing… NOTHING…. feels better than being a part of a successful project that adds value to a company, or even to the quality of someone’s life (think medical software.)

      If I had a choice between a two jobs, both of which provided me with a reasonable lifestyle, but were 20K/yr. apart… and the lower-paying of the two jobs had that success factor and 60-hour weeks vs. the higher-paying job, I’d take the lower-paying job each time.

      Rarely do such choices occur. I find those employers who pay more, often value their employees more and have better workplace atmospheres.

  4. When I conducted these interviews I was surprised so few people said, “Money,” A total of two which are reflected in the video. Money has shown itself again and again to not be a top motivational factor for seeking a job. I’m sure it’s a concern, but people are willing to forgo money for many other opportunities. I definitely saw this more with Millennials than any other group.