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Money, they say, is important—but not more important than following one’s dreams. And in the midst of a slowdown, a growing number of professionals around the globe seem to be preferring work profiles that make an impact on the world rather than just paying well, says a global survey released last month.

The survey, The Professional Revolution, from Thomson Reuters, a multinational media and information firm based in New York City, US, reveals that the workforce across Brazil, China, India, the US and UK—from the entry level to those in leadership positions—today lives at the intersection of knowledge, socialization and purpose, a place where personal fulfilment is not dictated just by pay cheques. The survey findings, released on 27 June, are based on more than 1,000 interviews across the five countries and five main industries of finance and risk, legal, tax and accounting, scientific research and development, healthcare and health services.

Globally, while 56% of the respondents wanted purposeful jobs, 70% preferred work they enjoy over fat pay cheques. The desire to lead purposeful lives cuts across race, class, gender or age—55% of those seeking impactul jobs were in the age group of 18-34, 57% between 35-49 years and 58% above 50.

Indian professionals tend to agree. For instance, Hemant Kathuria, director of Gurgaon-based start-up White Capers, an outsourcing data analytics and market research company, says business owners like him may worry constantly about getting more business, but meaningful work is something everyone wants to do.

Manish Singh, an Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, graduate now based in London, UK, as director and head of investment at wealth management and merchant banking services firm Crossbridge Capital LLP, adds that purely from a career point of view, rewards from a high-paying career may be short-lived compared to purposeful jobs that are more worthwhile in the long run. “Unless your job touches on the life of people directly, you will never have the satisfaction of having made a ‘contribution’ to the world," he says.

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