New Study Highlights Workers’ Shifting Relationship With Work and Desire for Control Over Where, When They Work

Workers are making gains in overall career success yet continue to crave independence, third annual research study from Connie Steele shows

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American workers report feeling more successful this year than last, but despite these gains, they’re fiercely protective of the independence they became accustomed to during the pandemic. Seventy-five percent of workers say it’s important to set boundaries with work so that it doesn’t interfere with their personal lives, and 66% believe that work should accommodate the way they want to live their lives.

These findings and more are part of the third annual State of Work & Career Success study, which was developed to understand the changing mindset, attitudes, and behaviors of workers in the U.S. The State of Work and Career Success study is led by Connie Steele, Principal of Flywheel Associates, and conducted by Rockbridge Associates.

Among the highlights of this year’s study are:

  • More than half of workers in the survey (51%) report being satisfied with their career progress, up from 45% a year ago
  • 64% say they work best when they can work anywhere they want
  • 62% say they work best when they can work when they want
  • 65% agree that aligning personal values with an organization’s values is important
  • 62% feel work and life are integrated, and this sentiment goes up to almost 70% among those in their 20s and 30s
  • More successful workers perceive the companies they work at as being more innovative in the marketplace

“For this year’s study, we wanted to look past all the attention-grabbing headlines around trends like quiet quitting to get a feel for how American workers are truly faring,” said Connie Steele. “While workers are trending in the right direction in general, companies still have a lot of work to do to provide team members the support and flexibility they need to succeed.”

The research takes the pulse of what the American workforce wants and needs out of their profession, as well as the key drivers of success. Planning (34%) continues to play an outsized role when it comes to determining career success, followed by culture (18%), experience (15%), education (13%), skills (12%), and staying current (8%).

“Despite the gains workers have made in the last year, there are a few clear opportunities where they should focus to improve in 2023,” said Gina Woodall, President of Rockbridge Associates. “Collectively, top priorities in 2023 should be for workers to focus on aspects of planning, like getting a mentor and building a network, as well as getting formal education to advance and participating in industry events. The latter two activities are important to career satisfaction but workers are less successful with them.”

The study explores the relationship between career and life success as well as the relationship with an organization’s outcomes, particularly around employee engagement. Being successful in one’s career, as defined by how satisfied workers are with the progress they are making, leads to a greater likelihood of achieving their career and life goals. It also yields positive business outcomes for the organizations where they are employed. Learn more about the 2023 study and its findings at

About the Study & Methodology

The 2023 State of Work and Career Success study provides findings on what the American workforce wants and needs out of their professional life, as well as the drivers of success. The study dives into the connection between career goals and life goals, and the relationship between individual success and organizational success. The study surveyed more than 2000 workers aged 18-69 who were working full-time, part-time, freelance, or as a business owner in a range of industries from Nov. 29 - Dec. 20, 2022. This year’s study builds on the research conducted for the first two State of Work and Career Success studies. You can learn more about the 2021 and 2022 studies and download related materials to each of the three studies here.

About Connie Steele

Connie Steele is a Future of Work & Life expert who helps individuals and corporations get unstuck in today’s society, showing them how to confidently move forward in accomplishing their goals. She’s the Principal and Co-founder of the management consultancy Flywheel Associates and author of the book Building the Business of You: A System to Align Passion and Growth Potential through Your Own Career Mashup. Connie and team assess and measure what it takes to be successful in this new world of work and life and the implications to individuals and organizations alike. Learn more about Connie at

About Rockbridge Associates

Rockbridge is a strategic marketing research firm providing research and consulting to companies in the services and technology sectors. They have studied workforce trends, including the rise of the gig economy, for over a decade as demographic, technological, and societal effects have changed how and why Americans work. Rockbridge guides clients on strategic areas including customer loyalty, share-of-wallet, segmentation, branding, and product development. The firm is the creator of the American Innovation Index, an award-winning initiative that tracks the innovativeness of U.S. companies based on the experiences of their customers. Learn more at

Media Contact: Connie Steele