Have a Deep Regret About Work? You Must be a Man

Last Updated Jul 7, 2011 5:02 PM EDT

When men look back on their lives, the most "salient regret" they mention has to do with work.

For women, the regret is more related to love.

When the results are combined, the top three regrets are love, family and career.

These numbers are according to to a survey of 370 adult Americans by Mike Morrison of the University of Illinois and Neal J. Roese of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. The report was cited in a recent The Daily Stat newsletter from HBR.org.

I think both findings are surprising given that these regrets were mentioned more often than ones for things such as finances, education, health, and parenting.

Since this is a website devoted to business topics, I need to ask you:

What is your biggest regret about your career? Did you make the wrong choice? Did you not succeed as you had planned? Are your career demands regretfully overshadowing other aspects of your life?

(Photo by Flickr user Ed Yourdon, CC 2.0)

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.