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Australia – Work/life balance trumps promotion

03 October 2013

Australians are more concerned about achieving a healthy work/life balance and having an interesting job than climbing the corporate ladder, with the nation having some of the least aspirational workers in the world, reports theaustralian.com.au.

Only 8% of Australians are strongly focused on promotion, according to a report from recruitment company Randstad, lagging behind 24% of people in the US and 17% of people in New Zealand.

With unemployment hovering around 5.8%, Randstad director Steve Shepherd said that Australians are more concerned with keeping their jobs rather than taking the boss's office: "In Australia we see greater emphasis on things like work/life balance and having an interesting job. Australians see beyond the job and advancing their careers and are actually looking for more from their current job.”

"Maybe Australians are more comfortable in having those other things than they are about having to climb the corporate ladder all the time," he added.

And in a sign of the times, digital skills and working with data are seen to be more important than social skills by employees. Of the 6,100 Australian workers surveyed, 66% said their bosses consider social skills more important than they were five years ago. For digital skills, that number is 87%.

Mr Shepherd said the figure was surprising but indicative of the greater importance numbers and data is playing in the workplace: "But that doesn't mean we can all be geeks sitting at the computer analysing data all day. You still need to be able to have the social skills to translate that data and bring it into the wider business."

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