Nearly half of workers say they're living the dream at work: BMO poll

TORONTO – A dream job may not be as elusive as you think.

Nearly half of Canadians recently surveyed said they were already working in their dream jobs, according to a poll by the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO).

The survey results, released Wednesday, listed 47 per cent of respondents as saying they had already found their dream jobs, while two-thirds (65 per cent) said they looked forward to going into the office each day.

And 70 per cent of those surveyed say they feel that they’re valued at work.

Peter Harris of job search website Workopolis said he was pleasantly surprised by the results.

“Dream jobs are the ultimate goal. It’s good to hear that so many people have achieved it,” said Harris, editor-in-chief of the online website.

“It sounds surprising to me because Workopolis deals with the other half. People who interact with us … are people who haven’t achieved the dream yet and that’s why they’re looking to make a career change.”

Despite the high level of satisfaction at work, a majority (64 per cent) say they would quit their jobs in a heartbeat if they ever won the lottery. That wasn’t the case for small business owners, with only 39 per cent saying they would sell their business if they ever hit the jackpot.

The survey also found that gender and income were factors, but not major ones, in workplace satisfaction.

Men (51 per cent) were more likely than women (43 per cent) to say they were employed in their dream jobs.

Regionally, the highest percentage of those to say there were working in their dream jobs lived in Quebec (59 per cent), followed by those in Alberta (50 per cent), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (47 per cent), Atlantic Canada (45 per cent) and B.C. (44 per cent).

Only 40 per cent of those surveyed in Ontario said they were employed in a dream gig.

Meanwhile, 58 per cent of those surveyed with an annual household income of less than $50,000 say they look forward to going into their jobs each day, compared with 69 per cent among people who made at least $50,000 a year.

Harris said at Workopolis, the top five factors a job candidate looks for in a new job usually don’t include salary.

“The most important thing is work environment, and other factors like location and advancement opportunities,” he said.

“People want to see themselves working in a place that they believe in, that they contribute and see growth. After that, of course, they need to get paid and be fairly compensated but it’s not what they look for and not why they get out of bed in the morning.”

James Gardiner with BMO said the survey results were fairly optimistic, particularly for young workers.

“The results that stood out to us were the high percentage of young people working in their dream job,” said Gardiner, who is the bank’s vice-president of commercial banking.

“It’s encouraging to know that within 10 years of starting in the workforce, a majority of Canadians have already found what they want to do.”

BMO said the survey did not ask participants which sectors they worked in.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, used results from an online sample of 1,005 Canadians between July 12 and July 16. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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