If You Struck It Rich, Would You Keep Working or Take the Money and Run?

Admit it. You’ve daydreamed about winning the lottery, quitting your job and retiring to a tropical island. Seems pretty fantastic, right? Turns out, though, most people would continue working if they experienced a financial windfall.

According to an Accountemps survey, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of employees would continue to work in some capacity if they struck it rich. Of that group, 36 percent would choose to stay in their current job, while 41 percent would continue to work but look for a new type of job. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of those surveyed said they would quit working altogether.

Why might so many professionals continue working after experiencing a financial windfall? There’s more to life than money. While it’s tied to some degree with happiness, research suggests having a fulfilling job, family and friends are often considered more important than income.

Professionals also might prefer to continue working because of other benefits it provides: status, challenge, the feeling of achievement and being productive, friendships, a sense of purpose, and an active mind.

What can employers learn from this research? Well, it shouldn’t come as a shock if an employee wins the lottery and chooses to quit. However, it’s always best to position your company as an employer of choice that workers want to run to instead of run away from.

So be honest: Would you continue working if you suddenly struck it rich?

Related post: Quitting Time: How to Leave a Job on Good Terms