Here’s how much money people want to make to do a job they hate

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A new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Self Lender found that men are more likely than women to trade passion for higher salaries. (Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash)

If you like, or even love your job — odds are you’d be willing to leave it for a job you hate if the price were right. According to new research, that price is approximately $15,000 a year.

A new survey found that while 87 percent of Americans like their jobs, 41 percent would leave them to do something they hate. The average desired salary for a despised job? $77,000.

Although 74 percent of millennials polled said that passion is the biggest factor in their job choice, 83 percent believe that they do or will have to stop doing what they love in order to make enough money.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Self Lender, found that men are more likely than women to trade passion for higher salaries, with 48 percent of men willing to take a pay increase to perform a job they dislike versus 36 percent of women.

The new study of 2,000 Americans has uncovered that salary, benefit packages, and working hours are the three aspects of work that respondents feel need the most improvement. More than half (54 percent) of Americans feel that their current salary is unfairly low.

Less than half of respondents (49 percent) believe they’ll have enough money to retire at a reasonable age.

Frustrated with their salaries and willing to perform undesired jobs for money, it’s perhaps no surprise that less than half (43 percent) of respondents are comfortable in their current financial situation.

What amount would make Americans comfortable — as in, free from work and financially set for life? According to respondents: $1.9 million.

Said James Garvey, CEO of Self Lender:

“Since the vast majority of us aren’t going to come into a windfall that makes us set for life, it’s good to take control of what you can and work toward financial stability. That may mean learning skills and staying in the job market to land that higher income, but also paying down debt, and increasing savings and investment even at small amounts. It’s easy to forget that this is a lifetime journey that moves forward one step at a time.”

With a set-for-life amount of money, most Americans (48 percent) said they would first pay off their school, medical, and credit debts. Putting money into a savings account (47 percent), and buying a new house (40 percent) were also high on the to-do list.

Approximately half (53 percent) would move into a larger home, and 41 percent would move to a more expensive area.

While 59 percent of Americans surveyed said that the economy isn’t stable enough to know their set-for-life price, a lack of savings was the top factor (52 percent) cited as holding respondents back from being financially set. Other inhibitors included low salaries (41 percent) and credit card debt (29 percent).

Said James Garvey, CEO of Self Lender:

“While higher salaries can help your finances, the good news is, even at lower incomes you can start working towards savings goals and better financial health. Start by building positive financial habits now, so in future you’re better prepared to handle income increases as they come and avoid the trap of ‘lifestyle creep.’ Building better financial habits now could also mean you never have to take that job you despise just to make a little extra money.”


  1. Salary 54%
  2. Benefit package 43%
  3. Working hours 34%
  4. Management 33%
  5. Workload/tasks 31%


  1. Pay off debts (school, medical, credit) 48%
  2. Put money into savings account 47%
  3. Buy a new house 40%
  4. Buy a new car 30%
  5. Donate money to charity 30%
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  1. Lack of savings 52%
  2. Low salary 41%
  3. Credit card debt 29%
  4. Low credit score 25%
  5. Medical debt 20%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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