So far, so good. The study was designed to identify the starting conditions for people wanting to do the best possible job in their chosen profession. We know what they are; let’s find out what drives them.
The survey compared answers given by more than 1,500 members of three groups—lawyers (who were all at least twenty-five years old), engineering students in top universities (also twenty-five or older) and laypeople in Hong Kong who had never studied law or engineering (all under thirty). All the respondents answered questions about their jobs and personal lives—the usual stuff like favorite sports teams, favorite foods and hobbies—and then rated themselves on how strongly they felt that each trait described them. They also rated how much they agreed with statements such as “I am happiest when I am doing something legal” or “My most important goal is to earn lots of money quickly through my career.” Finally, they ranked which traits made up their ideal personality profile: two characteristics together scored higher than one characteristic alone does not constitute an ideal psychological profile but rather a composite character type composed of many different desirable traits. It is an amalgamation whose definition can change according to age group or income level but whose purpose remains constant: To cast your mind back over your life so far you will be able to recall times when these two qualities have been strongest—times when you have achieved success while enjoying work that brought happiness into your life