Australians report on job satisfaction in new survey from GoDaddy

6 min read
Quentin Aisbett

The topic of job satisfaction brings on a whole new meaning in the midst of a pandemic. It’s safe to say we’re all happy to put 2020 behind us -- as many people lost their jobs, businesses struggled and remote work became the new norm.

But it seems, if there’s one positive from last year, it’s that we all have an appreciation of what really matters. For many, it’s spending more time with family and friends. And for the many Australians, it’s also pursuing a career that they’re passionate about.

GoDaddy surveyed over 1,000 Australians to get a deeper understanding of job satisfaction and willingness to start a new business.

They asked 10 questions of people in all States and Territories, where respondents were weighted by age and gender to match 2016 ABS Census data -- this was to ensure accurate representation.

Respondents say they want more from their jobs

The results were compelling, finding that only half of working Australians are happy with their jobs, while 1 in 10 actively dislike their jobs.

Our research demonstrates a very exciting groundswell of young entrepreneurial spirit among Australians that developed over the last year and appears to be continuing into 2021,” said Suzanne Mitchell, Senior Director of Marketing for GoDaddy Australia.

In fact, the survey shows that the average Aussie would be willing to take a 33% pay cut in order to pursue a career they’re more passionate about.

“Many people dream about starting their own business and the autonomy, freedom and work/life balance it can provide,” Ms Mitchell said. “There’s a very strong appetite for business ownership.”

Thanks to technology lowering the cost of entry, it is now more affordable and faster than ever before to create, grow and run an online venture.

Take a peek at other key findings below to see how job satisfaction ranks in other areas of Australian work life.

How Australians view job satisfaction

Closeup of person filling out a survey

When respondents were asked to best describe the way they feel about their current job, only 51% said they either love it or like it.

The most common response was ‘It’s OK’ at 40%. And at the bottom end of the scale, 6% said they ‘dislike it,’ with another 4% saying they ‘hate it a lot.’

There were also some interesting disparities in the State-by-State breakdown. Below we list some of the key results:

  • South Australians showed the lowest job satisfaction with 43% saying they were ‘Happy with their job’ and 15% ‘Actively disliking their job.’
  • New South Wales had the highest rate of respondents (41%) who said they were making New Year’s resolutions to do something about their career.
  • All State and Territory survey participants showed a comparable interest in starting a business (one in three), with the exception of Western Australia (less than one in four).

While a majority of Australians are satisfied with their current jobs, many would consider opting for a new job that better aligns with their passions -- even if it means sacrificing their income.

Related: How to start a business in Australia

What would you give up for passion?

Researchers asked respondents to determine what percentage of their current income they would be happy to forgo, in order to start a business that might bring them greater job satisfaction.

oman holding piggy bank

The average response was that they would forgo a third of their income.

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Younger workers are ready for change

The key findings here suggest that younger audiences are more likely to want to change careers for a job they’re more passionate about. That figure progressively decreases with each age demographic. Here’s a quick breakdown for each group:

  • A total of 63% of 18-24 year-olds said they made a New Year’s resolution to change careers, while a resounding 80% answered ‘yes’ when asked if it was more important to pursue a career they were passionate about.
  • Looking at 25-34 year-olds, the number who made a career-related New Year’s resolution dropped down to 54%. It’s interesting to note that the numbers were skewed more heavily by gender, with 45% of males wanting to change compared to just 32% of females.
  • Meanwhile, 43% of respondents between ages 55-64 said it was not important to pursue a career they were passionate about -- perhaps as a sign of the times, or the importance of job security to those in this age group.
Young people gathering outside.

Again, the answers across the survey tended to skew heavily toward younger Australians who favor changing careers in exchange for a job they're more passionate about. If you’re one of the many people who can relate, GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing is a great way to put your business idea online where others can find it.

Business owners of the future and the industries they value

As mentioned, one in three Australians expressed an interest in starting their own business in 2021. Respondents were asked the following two questions:

  1. Would you consider starting your own business in 2021?
  2. In which of the following industries would you start a small business?

The age group most likely to start a business in 2021 were 18-44 year-olds, which is not overly surprising. However, there are two interesting points to note:

  • The 35-44 year-old demographic showed the most interest, with 49% saying they would consider starting a new business this year.
  • As far as gender goes, 40% of males showed they were interested in starting a business this year compared to just 27% of females.

Additionally, 14% of respondents nominated retail as the most common industry to start a business in. The next nine most popular industries (including creative professional services, cafes and restaurants, finance and childcare) were all nominated by 5-8% of respondents.

Related: How to set up a clothing business

Are you destined to start your own venture?

We all know that job satisfaction was a factor long before 2020. But in the wake of the pandemic, it seems many Australians are now prepared to make the big call to pursue their dreams -- even if it’s at the expense of their own financial security.

Remember, the average Australian is willing to sacrifice a third of their income for a career they feel passionate about!

It’s also reflected in the groundswell of entrepreneurial spirit, with one in three survey participants willing to start a new business in 2021. This is on the back of a 5.7% increase in business registrations in 2020 compared to 2019.

Whether people are starting a business because they’ve lost their job, are looking for job satisfaction or they see their future more secure in their own hands, an emerging trend is apparent.