Aussies shunning six-figure salaries
FOR 27-year-old Monique Ceccato, "success" has little to do with a high-status job, fat salary or fancy car.
Instead, Ms Ceccato - and a growing number of Australians - see success in terms of something far less tangible: happiness.
In fact, new research from career networking platform LinkedIn has revealed 77 per cent of Australians define success in terms of being happy, while 71 per cent consider health to be the top indicator of success.
Meanwhile, just 18 per cent believe earning $100,000 or more is the key to success.
Ms Ceccato, a Perth-based blogger who runs her own fashion, travel and lifestyle blog, Little Miss Mon Bon, said millennials in particular were more likely to reject stereotypical markers of success in favour of more meaningful pursuits.
"I define success by my own personal happiness - I may not be earning millions or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I'm incredibly happy - and that's all anyone could ever ask for," she said.
"As much as money is enticing, that's just a small portion of success, not the be all and end all.
"The people I look up to and aspire to be like are my family, friends and acquaintances who are happy - not necessarily people who are working as CEOs or earning massive salaries," she said.
Speaking with news.com.au from Malaysia, Ms Ceccato said her career as a blogger and freelance writer allowed her to travel and work from anywhere in the world, and that the flexibility of her job contributed to her overall success and happiness.
"I'm sitting in an apartment in KL writing an article now ... and that ability to structure my own day makes me happy and it means I have the flexibility to be chasing other dreams rather than being stuck in an office working nine to five and climbing the corporate ladder," she said.
"Success is no longer measured by the material things you own. It's shifted more towards your wellbeing ... and I think that's a fantastic thing because we're no longer killing ourselves chasing down a certain societal expectation or stereotype of what success is."
According to LinkedIn's Success Survey, 65 per cent of Australians believe they are successful based on their health and happiness, while more than a third said traditional ideas of success were now outdated.
Half of Aussies surveyed rated work/life balance as the key to success while 57 per cent said it came down to spending time with friends and family, 52 per cent said it meant the opportunity to travel and 58 per cent defined success as having close friendships.
Meanwhile, just 36 per cent of people said it was based on achieving professional accomplishments, 17 per cent on getting a pay rise and nine per cent said success came down to earning more money than your friends.
Shiva Kumar, LinkedIn's head of brand and communications in Australia and New Zealand, said he wasn't surprised happiness, spending quality time with family, having close friendships and travelling were overwhelmingly considered to be higher indicators of success than financial and professional achievements.
He said the changing definition of success meant more and more companies were focusing on the health and wellbeing of employees, and that people were now choosing to work for companies with values they agreed with.
"It's not just about working nine to five anymore. People want to pursue their passions and they want to work for a company that they feel is making a difference," Mr Kumar said.
"We spend so much time at work these days and in some ways things have changed … professionals are more driven by passion and purpose."