The No. 1 Thing People Look for in a Job Is Work-Life Balance

The most important thing about work is that it allows you to have a life outside of work.

That’s according to the latest reading of an ongoing query from Comparably, which asked more than 5,000 workers in tech what they consider to be most important in a job, not including salary.

Work-life balance takes the cake

Work-life balance was overwhelmingly the top pick, with 36% of the vote. Career advancement opportunities (26%), positive culture (17%) and healthcare and benefits (11%) followed next. The least popular of the five options was company mission, with 10% of the vote.


Age matters

When you dig down into the numbers, however, it seems the youngest and oldest workers value other qualities more than work-life balance. The 18-25 age group ranked career advancement as No. 1, while workers 61-65 chose healthcare and benefits. It makes sense: those in the earliest stages of their career tend to be most focused on getting ahead, while those in the later stages of their career tend to be more health and retirement-focused.

Workers 18 to 25
Workers 18 to 25


Workers 61 to 65
Workers 61 to 65


C-level workers rank ‘company mission’ highest

While “company mission” was least important for people in most departments, it ranked No. 1 among workers in executive roles (after all, defining the company mission is sort of their job, right?). Work-life balance followed closely behind, and health care and benefits came in last.

Workers in executive roles were the only group to rank "company mission" as most important.
Workers in executive roles were the only group to rank “company mission” as most important.

Asian  workers rank ‘career advancement opportunities’ as No. 1

Workers of every ethnicity ranked work-life balance as most important except Asian and Pacific Islanders, who ranked career advancement opportunities higher (38%).


Check out the full report here. The latest reading is as of May 30.

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