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Survey reveals career satisfaction and success are moving targets

Career satisfaction and success are not just end goals
Career satisfaction and success are not just end goals
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NEW YORK & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 04, 2014--

Citi and LinkedIn today released results from their fourth Today's Professional Woman Report, a national survey exploring women's career and financial concerns inspired by the conversations on Connect: Professional Women's Network. Connect, which is powered by Citi(SM) , is the fast-growing LinkedIn group with more than 300,000 professional women members.

Results of the study revealed that most professional women expect to reach their career peak at age 53, while men expect to reach the top slightly later at age 55. The age at which professionals project to reach the height of their career success varies significantly by generation, however -- with their expected peak increasing as they age. Millennials expect to hit their career peak at 43, for example -- while Baby Boomers expect to hit the top at 62. At the same time, most professionals surveyed believe the happiest point in their careers was several years in the past. Those who are under 35 are most likely to say that their happiest age was 28, while professionals ages 45-54 are most likely to say that their happiest age was 42.

"The survey illustrates that career satisfaction and success are not just end goals -- they're both moving targets," said Linda Descano, CFA(R), Head of Content and Social, North America Marketing at Citi, and President and CEO of Women & Co., Citi's personal finance resource for women. "While the age at which professionals believe they will peak varies by generation, most expect the high point of their career to occur within the next several years. Yet at the same time, they believe that the happiest moment of their careers occurred several years in the past, suggesting that peak satisfaction does not necessarily mean the height of career success."

The survey also found that men are more likely than women to equate career satisfaction with a "good salary" (58% vs. 52%), while women rated salary, "doing what I love," and "being challenged" as equally important to their satisfaction. Further, women are more likely than men to equate career satisfaction with "making an impact on the world" (32% vs. 27%) and "helping people" (32% vs. 28%).

"It's interesting to see that despite all the talk about 'having it all, ' the study shows that the number of women who actually equate it with success is declining," said Jacky Carter, LinkedIn Community Manager for Connect: Professional Women's Network. "As we've seen from discussions in the Connect group, there's no standard definition of success, and career progress can be defined in a variety of ways -- from following your passions to earning a promotion."

For more detailed results on the Today's Professional Woman Report, visit the Women & Co. blog. To become a member of the Connect: Professional Women's Network, visit and join for free.

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