Generation Ys are more interested in chasing jobs which are personally fulfilling than the hefty pay cheque, according to a new survey.

The 20 to 30 age group, which has gained a reputation as being "Generation Me" and all about looking after number one, would rather have a career where they were doing something meaningful rather than paying well, according to a survey by Kelly Services.

Kelly Services managing director Debbie Grenfell said the global survey of 170,000 workers including 3,500 in New Zealand showed they were motivated by more than money.

"There is the idea that Generation Y are a privileged group that is out for themselves, but this just isn't true."


Hamilton's Claire Gray, 24, has been manager of not-for-profit organisation Streetworks for two years, working full-time for less than the equivalent of a part time wage because she believed in what she was doing. The group runs different projects and events to help people in the community.

"I never really wanted to get locked into a 9am to 5pm job that would be just climbing the ladder and really boring and like knocking everybody else on the head to get up. But I also never wanted money to be a deciding factor in decisions."

Miss Gray said while some of her fellow business graduates had been surprised she hadn't wanted a corporate jobs, she also felt she was part of a generation easily captured by a vision.

"Maybe there's a general trend of more awareness for different issues and maybe we are a generation that doesn't just want to sit and ignore that. Maybe people within that will realise money is not the best measure of happiness."

Kylie Zinsli said the fact she loved her job as an education co-ordinator at the Young Workers Resource Centre in Hamilton meant more to her than being paid more elsewhere. The 25-year-old from Cambridge had volunteered at the centre while studying at Waikato University and when a full-time job came up she jumped at the chance, leaving her role at the Department of Corrections. Her job involved educating high school students about employment relations issues before they entered the work force.

"I just felt really good about it and making a change and stuff like that. Getting to know the other people who work in the community sector so it was just where I wanted to be. You know, you just kind of feel like you've found it.

"Could I be paid better in other jobs, yes definitely and I know that as well. But I still choose to be here."

What Gen Ys want:
38% - job that was personally fulfilling and provided a good work/life balance most important
36% - personal growth and advancement important factor when deciding where to work
23% - looked for positive corporate culture
19% - compensation or benefits most important when choosing a job
16% - important company was performing financially
15% - important employer had been around for a long time
Source: Kelly Global Workforce Index