How many people would quit their jobs if they would become millionaires?

Photo by: Pixabay / angelolucas

A few months ago I ran an online survey asking people if they would quit their jobs in two scenarios. The first one was after winning €10 million. The second one was after earning an unconditional basic income (UBI).

A quick overview: 244 people from 34 countries answered my survey. But most of them come from six places: Brazil, UK, Germany, Netherlands, USA, and Belgium. They work with engineering, science, business or service industries. And their ages range from 26 to 35 years old.

That demographic is the same as mine for a reason: most people who answered it are in my contacts network. So, this survey has no intentions to be scientific or used in any serious way. The only intention here is to feed my curiosity — and maybe yours.

This first part shows the results for the €10 million question. I will publish another post in the coming days with the results from the basic income one.

How many people would quit their jobs if they would win €10 million?

Only 32% of the people said they would stay in their jobs. 60% of them said they would definitely quit it. Meanwhile, other 8% said they would quit — but only after winning €1 billion.

Most people who would quit their jobs work in the service industry or doing some manual labor:

86% of people doing manual work or working in the service industry would quit their jobs

But not everyone is unhappy with their jobs. Artists, students, and people with teaching and medical work would keep their jobs:

70% of artists would keep their jobs even after winning €10 million

In some places, people are more satisfied with their current jobs than others. People in the UK, Belgium, and the USA would be more willing to quit it. There is a catch about the United States, though: only 40% would quit after winning €10 million. But other 33% would quit if they would become billionaires.

In the Netherlands, most people would keep their jobs even after becoming millionaires. 57% of the people living there said they would not quit. The closest country is Germany — where 40% said they would stay in their jobs.

Mid-aged people are those who are more willing to quit their jobs after winning €10 million:

77% of the people between 46 and 65 years old would quit their jobs

What would people do after winning €10 million?

I have grouped all the answers to make it easier to analyze. For example, if someone answered donate to charity or help others, both are “social good” here. But other things can also be a social good. Some people answered start a social enterprise. It represents “start a new business” in this list. Meanwhile, “investments” do not count investing in new companies. It only means investment without working for it (e.g. real estate, the stock market, etc.).

That is the group where most people are. 27% of the people would like the money to “work for them”. They would invest either the whole amount or part of it. Other popular answers were:

- Creating your own company/business;
- Traveling or leisure activities;
- Doing social good (e.g. donations, charity, etc.).

This list shows the main thing people would do with that money — what people would dedicate their lives after winning €10 million. If they would donate some money to charity but they would dedicate their lives to investments, then it shows here as "invest" rather than "social good".

At the end of this post, you can find a list of the most used words when answering this question — which can give a broader idea of everything people would do.

Almost half of the people (49%) would either invest the money or start a business

Who would invest that money?

As I mentioned before, 27% of people would invest their money to earn more without having to work for it.

Younger people are more willing to invest that money than older people. That is an understandable choice considering the insecurity about our future:

48% of people from 19 to 25 years old would invest the money. Older people would invest less.

People living in Germany, the USA, and Brazil are those who would invest more:

42% of people living in Germany would invest that money

It also varies a lot according to their current jobs. People working with arts, media, and marketing would prefer an investment option:

40% of artists, media and marketing people would invest their money

Who would start a business?

Creating their own company is also a popular choice. 22% of the people would like to start a business.

People from most regions would like to do so. There were only two exceptions: The Netherlands (15%) e the UK (16%):

29% of people living Germany would use that money to start a business

There was also only one age group not interested in using those €10 million to start a business: young people. Only 7% of people from 18 to 25 years old would like to create their own company:

33% of people older than 66 years old would like to start a business

People working with sales or real estate lead the field here. 50% of them would like to start a business with that money. Unemployed (or retired people), media and marketing, follow them:

40% of unemployed people would use that money to start a business

Who would travel or invest in leisure?

21% of the people who answered this survey said they would use those €10 million to enjoy life a bit more: either by traveling or investing in other leisure activities.

People from the Netherlands are those who are more willing to do so:

45% of people living in the Netherlands would invest the money in leisure activities

That option is also interesting for people in stressful jobs like medical and teaching professions:

40% of people in medical positions would invest in more leisure activities

Traveling and leisure are also more popular among older people than youngsters:

33% of people older than 66 would invest in traveling and leisure

Who would do some social good?

Doing some social good was the choice of 18% of people. This involves a range of topics like donating to charity, investing in non-profits, doing volunteer work, etc. Those numbers are from people who would make creating a social impact as a priority in their lives.

It does not show, however, who would like to make social impact through creating a new business. They were grouped in the "start a new business" category.

50% of social workers would dedicate their money (and lives) to social good

Older people are more willing to use their money for social good. 33% of people over 66 years old would do so — and 32% of people between 46 and 65 years old would do the same.

Most people caring about social good are coming from the UK, Belgium, and Brazil. 30% of the British who answered the survey would use part of their €10 million for good causes.

The country with the least amount of people planning to use their money for social good was the United States: no one living in the US said they would dedicate that money to help others.

Who would invest in their studies?

5% of the people would use part of the money to either invest in their studies or have more time for learning new things. Most of them are currently doing manual labor/working in the service industry or are students already.
18% of service workers would use the money for studying — and 13% of the students would do the same.

That is a priority for younger people: 7% of people between 19 and 25 years would invest in their studies.

People living in Belgium and in the Netherlands are more interested in their studies: 11% of Belgians would like to invest their money. They are followed closely by the Netherlands (10%) and the USA (8%).

Who would start a new career?

3% of the 244 participants said they would seek a new career if they would become millionaires. Most people from that group are currently working as public servants:

40% of people working in the public sector would seek a new career

Mid-aged people are those wishing more for a career change. 9% of them range from 36 to 45 years old. They live mostly in the UK (5%), Brazil (4%), and in other countries with fewer participants in this survey (5%).

Who would not change anything?

Not everyone’s lives would be severely impacted by winning €10 million. For 3% of the people, they would not do anything differently (or they are not sure about what to do).

Most people who would not change their lifestyle are working in teaching positions (18%) or engineering & science (4%). They are also more experienced people:

9% of people from 36 to 45 years old would keep doing the same thing they are doing now

Belgium is the country where more people would not change their lifestyle after becoming millionaires. 22% of the people would do whatever they are doing currently.

Who would retire?

Only 1% of the people said they would retire if winning €10 million. They are mostly working in the public sector (20%), close to retirement (46 to 65 years old, 4%), and living in the UK (5%).

Most used words

You can see, in the picture below, what were the most used words in this survey (when asked about what they would do if winning €10 million):

I will publish some follow-up posts soon. The first one will have the results from the basic income questions. The second one will have some comments about these results and why I did this survey.

I will publish them on my social network profiles:
Medium —
Linkedin —
Twitter —
Facebook —