More than two-thirds of Irish people feel that they are successful, new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, reveals. The international study found that 68% of Irish adults described themselves as successful, the fourth highest out of 16 countries surveyed and the most confident in Europe.

Irish people do not define success by the material things in life

The Irish public places more emphasis on their work life balance, relationships and personal experiences when defining success than their salary. For example, being healthy was one of the top characteristics that respondents defined success by – with 74% of those surveyed in the LinkedIn study singling it out. Among the over-55s who took part in the survey, this rose to 84%.

Spending time with one’s family and having good friends were also viewed as popular definitions of success, at 62% and 58% respectively. Similarly, being able to spend time on their passions contributed heavily in terms of whether people viewed themselves as a success, with the opportunity to travel (44%) and having time to spend on their hobbies (41%) singled out as key factors.

LinkedIn’s research found that traditional perceptions of success were outdated, with just 15% of respondents identifying a six-figure salary as a definition of success – the figure rose to 32% among respondents in the 18-24 year old age group. A paltry 6% judged earning more money than their friends as success and similarly only 16% viewed getting a pay rise a positive milestone in terms of being a success.

A range of factors were highlighted by Irish adults for helping to unlock their potential. Education topped the poll as the top positive impact in order to attain future success with 70% of Irish adults selecting it above other options. A person’s background and upbringing were also highlighted as contributing to a future positive outcome, with 42% of participants stating that what their parents did for a living and 43% of respondents highlighting where they lived as influences on their future success.

While factors like education, their parents’ professions and where they live are largely predetermined factors, Irish adults also highlighted other areas which they could control as positive influences. For example, half of the Irish public believe what they wear influences their level of success in life.

Sharon McCooey, Head of LinkedIn Ireland, said: “The research findings are interesting because many people would assume that we often associate our success in life to our finances, where as in fact as people get older they put a much heavier emphasis on their relationships and their passions in life. Despite emerging from a recession in relatively recent times, our positivity shines through with the Irish public standing out as one of the most confident nations in the research. This positive attitude can clearly be put down to knowing what’s important in life and not trying to keep up with the Joneses.”

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