When it comes to defining success, the standards vary from person to person and can include intangible rewards. But with few exceptions, young people in China these days have one main requirement: cold, hard cash.
In a survey by global human resources firm Hays, by far the most important metric of career success for China's Generation Y (aged 18 to 30) is creating personal wealth, as 64 percent of the 1,000 young people surveyed listed it as their top priority.
In other surveyed countries, job satisfaction and enjoyment of work were the top priorities. But China's Generation Y workers are less likely than those in other countries to look for work flexibility - and far more likely to be driven by the potential to earn a bonus.
"This is not surprising, given that China remains a relatively poor developing country where many people have been attracted to the cities from rural areas in the hope of making a better life for themselves.
"Generation Y Chinese now have the chance to increase their income by working hard and furthering their careers. Making money appears to be the most important incentive for the majority of people surveyed," said an expert at Hays.
Lu Yao, 30, has had three jobs since he finished graduate school in 2009. In each case, the motivation was the same: more money.
Cash is king
Lu's first job was as a consultant at an overseas bank. The pay was good enough for a fresh graduate - about 7,000 yuan ($1,140) a month. But it was only good enough for two years, at which point he went to work as a product manager at a domestic securities company.
Disheartened by the mainland stock market's lethargic performance throughout much of 2013, he moved again in November, going to a smaller securities company that nonetheless pays better.