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NextGen Magazine


Study: Sense of Purpose Adds $4,461 in Annual Income

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 24, 2017

Can you really put a price on a sense of purpose? According to one study, yes: the Midlife in the United States study, a longitudinal study of 4,660 adults, found that people who report a strong sense of purpose at their jobs make $4,461 more in annual income than those who do not, according to Forbes. It also found that, in the long run, this same sense of purpose adds $20,857 in net worth. 

"Participants who reported a higher sense of purpose had higher levels of household income and net worth initially, and were more likely to increase on these financial outcomes over the nine years between assessments," said the study abstract.

The effect might be a little chicken-or-the-egg. The Forbes article noted that engaged employees tend to be more productive, which could explain the extra income over time. But we should also keep in mind the possibility that those who seek purpose at their jobs, versus just money to survive, may already come from a higher economic strat. We may also consider that the jobs they work could simply be better paying than those that do not offer this sense of purpose.