love-job-bullseye-on-target.pngLoving what you do for a living — more so than job security, flexibility or pay — has the biggest influence on job satisfaction.

A new survey involving Australian workers found a number of factors, including having higher education level and, surprisingly, salary, don’t affect employee happiness as much as loving your job.

In fact, workers who say they’re very satisfied with their job earn a lower average amount each week than those who report being just satisfied – $1,182, compared with $1,267.

The report also revealed some differences in the way generations approach work. Loving what you do can be a driver to stay in the workforce past retirement age; it’s why workers who are over 70, according to the report, remain employed. Gen Y and Gen X, however, are more likely to be dissatisfied in their job than other generations.

For more on the report, view this information from Australia’s Curtin University, which conducted the research in collaboration with knowledge base and member community Making Work Absolutely Human, also known as mwah.