Salaries and success

It’s time yet again for another edition of HR Update‘s nationally syndicated column,Numbers Game. (If an e-newsletter is forwarded from one recipient to a friend in another state…that counts as national syndication, right?)

This week’s topic: salaries and success.

How does one measure success? In accolades and accomplishments, friends and family, frequent flyer miles? (And what if you’re on the metric system?) Really, it’s hard to say. But I think it’s fair to assume that, in the workplace, a great deal of us measure success in dollars and cents.

A recent study by asked the question: How much do you need to earn to be successful? The answers – which were found by polling 5,772 U.S. workers – were surprisingly various.

Here are the numbers:

  • 75% of American workers don’t think they need to earn 6 figures to be successful
  • 28% of those polled felt earning $50-70k warranted success
  • 23% felt they would still be successful earning under $50k per year (Does that mean I’m an epic success?)
  • Men were twice as likely as women to feel they needed to earn 6 figures to be considered successful (32% for the men, as opposed to 17% of women).

Click here to check out all the numbers from the CareerBuilder study – including some interesting information on the dramatic decrease in merit raises since 2008. (What happened in 2008?!)


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