People who occupy higher positions are not necessarily more content in their jobs
According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of human resources staff say that internal satisfaction is most meaningful and important to them, which reflects a mainstream sense of values among Chinese white-collar workers.
The survey, conducted by Renmin University of China's School of Labor and Human Resources, found that 70.7 percent of the HR workers surveyed agreed that "a successful career is about achieving a balance between work and life".
It also found that 70.3 percent of those polled pay more attention to the inner satisfaction their job brings them, rather than the wealth and benefits they get from the job.
About 5,200 people working in HR positions all over the country participated in the survey. More than half held a bachelor's degree, while the average age was 35. Sixty-five percent were female.
Zhou Wenxia, deputy director of the school who led the survey, said the findings also reflect a mainstream sense of values among Chinese in all walks of society.
"The findings reversed a prevalent mindset that Chinese only care about the money," said Zhou, who has been researching careers for more than a decade.
She said that people are more eager to gain recognition, undertake important tasks and do things they are interested in.
"We are now in an era when people seek personal value and self-fulfillment," Zhou added.
Wang Tongxun, vice-chairman of the China Talent Research Association, said Chinese people's criteria regarding a successful career have changed greatly over the years.
"In the past, people mostly talked about promotion and salary increases. But now, we often hear people talk about competence, happiness and fulfillment," Wang said.
Zhou said she found that the elements of a successful career in the minds of Chinese can be divided into three dimensions: external rewards, internal satisfactions, and harmony and balance.
"We were surprised to find that external rewards are not necessarily connected with internal satisfaction," Zhou said. "That is to say, people in higher positions and on higher salaries are not necessarily happier or more content with their jobs."