Almost A Quarter Of Us Think Our Job Is Meaningless

Whether you like going to work every day or not, sometimes it’s easier to get through a day if you know your work is making a difference to someone. But it turns out, there are plenty of people in the U.S. who don’t think that at all.

A new YouGov survey finds:

  • 55% of Americans believe their job is making a meaningful contribution to the world.
  • Sadly, 22% of people believe their job is meaningless.
  • Baby Boomers are the most likely to think their job is making an impact (66%).
  • While members of Gen Z are the most likely to feel their job is not making any sort of meaningful contribution (27%), followed by Millennials (26%).
  • Folks employed in the health care/social assistance field are the most likely to think their job is making a meaningful impact (73%), followed by:
    • Education (72%)
    • Law & legal services (64%)
    • Non-profit, community, religious and social services (64%)
    • Government (64%)
  • Interestingly, those in media, communications and digital entertainment are the most likely to say their jobs are meaningless (40%), although there are still more people in that industry who think it has an impact (42%).
  • Those in the restaurant/travel/lodging services are more likely to think their job is meaningless (37%), than making a meaningful impact on the world (35%).
  • The same is true for those in the wholesale trade, with 44% saying it’s meaningless, and 40% saying it’s making an impact.
  • Overall, 67% of Americans say they feel personally fulfilled by their work, while 27% are not.
  • But just because a job isn’t meaningful, doesn’t mean folks are unfulfilled by it.
  • 42% of people who say their job isn’t meaningful say their job is either very or somewhat fulfilling, although 56% of those workers say they are not personally fulfilled by work.
  • Not surprising, 88% of those who say their job is meaningful are also fulfilled by their work. 


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