Why Millennials Would Take a $7,600 Pay Cut For a New Job

April 8, 2016, 3:11 PM UTC
Baltimore has become a cool city attracting millennials
BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 13: Millennials enjoy a cafe operating out of Miller's Point, a retrofitted factory in the Remington-Charles Village neighborhood, on January 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Charmington's, a worker-owned and collectively run cafe, uses locally, organically grown ingredients in the food. The building was a cane factory and is now filled with apartments and office space for nonprofits - helping to uplift the semi rough neighborhood. Baltimore is a draw for millennials who want to live in close-in, hip, urban neighborhoods. The city has a vibrant nightlife, great architecture and a relatively low cost of living and has earned the nickname Charm City. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
Photograph by Melanie Stetson Freeman—Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Nearly half of everyone’s favorite age-group to talk about—that would be millennials—are open to changing jobs in the next two years, even if they are happy at work.

When the time does come to make a new career move, “quality of work life” matters to those in the 25 to 35 age bracket. It matters so much that, according to a new study by Fidelity, millennials would take an average pay cut of $7,600 if they could improve their career development, find more purposeful work, better work-life balance, or a better company culture.

“Clearly, many young professionals are thinking about more than money and are willing to sacrifice a portion of their salary in exchange for a career move that more closely aligns with their values or passions or improves their work-life balance,” said Kristen Robinson, senior vice president, Women & Young Investors, Fidelity Investments.

The kind of workplace that appeals (and doesn’t appeal) to millennials has been an oft-discussed topic. One study shows that 94% of millennials want to use their skills for a social good, while another study finds that millennials want to work with purpose. Yet, millennials are reportedly less satisfied with their jobs than either GenXers or Baby Boomers were at the same point in their careers.

So, young workers would be willing to find a greener pasture in exchange for lesser pay. According to Fidelity—whose survey includes the responses of 1,500 people—when asked whether financial benefits or an improved quality of work life was more important when evaluating a job offer, 58% of millennials chose the latter. In Fortune‘s list of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, prioritizing the well-being and personal growth of young employees was a constant theme, beyond just offering a better compensation package.

“Recent college graduates are worried about company culture and work environment,” Bonnie Zaben, COO of recruitment firm AC Lion, told CNBC. “It was interesting to see how that resonated with many millennial applicants, who articulated that just in the cover letter.”