New Research Shows More Women Seek Happiness As Their Ultimate Life Goal Over Career Aspirations

Because what's the point in reaching the goal if you haven't enjoyed the journey?

Group of women smiling

by Georgia Aspinall |

Climbing the career ladder to the highest rung may be one of societies greatest indicators of living an accomplished life, but are you actually happy once you reach your goal and - more importantly - are you happy while you try to get there? It’s a question more women than ever are asking, as new research we've carried out has found the majority of women seek happiness over career aspirations.

In a study we conducted as part of our ‘The Game Changers 2.0’ research, 76% of women aged 25-44 reported that choosing personal happiness was a more important life goal than achieving career success. Ultimately, women are no longer pitting their future happiness on a career or financial goal and instead value finding pleasure in their daily lives now.

‘We know that our readers value substance and authenticity,’ says editor Hattie Brett, ‘and this research has reiterated that they are now galvanised into action to create the change and, above all, the happiness they desire.’

And this happiness is no longer confined to traditional life paths. In fact, more than one-fifth never expect to have a baby, 17% also do not expect to get married and 9% doubt they will ever own a property. Likely both a contributor to this and result of it the rise of mid-tier living, with more women somewhere between home ownership and rental hopping.

This uncertainty in their lives has not just driven women to find value outside of what they have been taught to strive for their entire lives, but also galvanised them into pursuing social justice causes that they care about.

With 87% of women surveyed feeling strongly about the gender pay gap, the research found that more women are putting their feelings around social injustice into action- attending protests and marches in hope of creating real change in the world. In fact, 1 in 3 women surveyed now talk about politics more than ever.

It speaks to a shift in the demand for equality as social media movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up move offline and inspire organisations and activists to pursue real life change. Creating happiness for themselves and others who face greater injustice is proving a worthwhile cause for many of the game changers.

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Facts about women around the world

Essentially, with one-fifth of women not expecting to reach a senior position in their career, and more than three-quarters prioritising their happiness over it anyway, women are finding pleasure in the activities that bring us daily joy. Whether it’s shopping, exercise or becoming more conscious of their social media usage (over half have taken steps to make their accounts private), these women are no longer stating they’ll be happy ‘when’ they achieve this or that, as so many of us have been guilty of in the past, but they’re actively seeking the happiness they desire right now.

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