Work Not Just About the Paycheck

July 22, 2014 ( – Just over half of Americans (51%) would continue to work, even if they did not need to financially.

A new survey from CareerBuilder finds that not all people dream of hitting it big and leaving their offices behind. In fact, if they won the lottery, 30% of respondents to a recent CareerBuilder poll say they would even keep their current job. As to why they would continue working, even though they did not have to, the respondents explain:

  • They would be bored if they didn’t work (77%);
  • Work gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment (76%);
  • They want financial security aside from the financial winnings (42%); or
  • They would miss their coworkers (23%).

On the other hand, 49% of respondents say they would indeed leave the work force if they came into a large sum of money. And many of them would strive to be cooperative with their employers as they exited the work force. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed would be willing to give more than two weeks notice if their employee needed it. Another 31% say they would be willing to give two weeks notice prior to their departure.

Other exit plans among respondents include:

  • Resigning that day without giving notice (13%);
  • Tell off their boss and air all grievances (3%); and
  • Not show up to work the next morning without formally quitting (2%).

The survey also finds that only 15% of Americans say they are currently working in their dream job, and another 36% say that while they are not quite there yet, they believe they will be someday.

A similar survey, conducted by Gallup in December 2013, found that two-thirds of employees would continue working if they won the lottery and that this mindset is specific to employees who are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace (see “Engaged Employees Would Work After Lottery Win”).

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, from May 13 to June 6. It included a representative sample of 3,372 workers across industries and company sizes. CareerBuilder is a provider of human capital solutions.