If you thought that salary/ compensation is the number one reason driving professional satisfaction among employees, prepare to be surprised.

A survey done by global specialist recruitment firm Michael Page India reveals that the aspiration to acquire new skills and a better work-life balance are the top two factors driving satisfaction. Better compensation comes third in the factors that keep employees happy.

The Job Confidence Index Q1 2017 analysed the responses of 650 employees in India and 4,700 across the Asia-Pacific region.

The results indicate that the three primary objectives for seeking employment in India remain unchanged, with 48 per cent of individuals aspiring to acquire new skills, 39 per cent yearning for a better work-life balance and 34 per cent considering income a significant factor.

A better work-life balance has now surpassed salary for the second most important driver when job hunting in India.

“A robust demand for qualified professionals in a competitive market has resulted in the importance of skill enhancement among millennials,” said Nicolas Dumoulin, MD, Michael Page India. “On the backdrop of an improved economic environment and adaptation to global culture, Indian professionals have a positive outlook towards a rise in job opportunities, wage growth and a better work life balance. Their appetite to acquire new skills outweighs other job search push factors.”

According to the study, a sizeable number of employees in India (53 per cent) have responded that they consider the state of the current national economy as “good to excellent” as opposed to only 33 per cent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region.

The findings further show that 62 per cent of Indian employees are “satisfied or very satisfied” with their working conditions as compared to 53 per cent of employees in the Asia-Pacific.

In a city by city comparison, job satisfaction levels of employees in Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai saw a dip whereas Mumbai was in line with the survey findings in the previous quarter.