A survey suggests nearly half of workers are unhappy in their jobs, with 40 percent saying they would like to be doing something else.
An independent research interviewed 860 people for online job search company Seek New Zealand.
People spend about half their waking hours in their jobs and 82 percent of interviewees said career satisfaction plays a pivotal role in how happy they are in general.
Seventy-one percent said they would be open to trying different things to improve their work life balance.
Massey University sociologist Professor Paul Spoonley said it was not surprising so many people were dissatisfied.
He said the global financial crisis had played a role in shaping this trend.
"Jobs are not as certain as they were in the past and perhaps what you are going to get from a job is not going to be anything more than money so the level of job satisfaction is a growing issue in countries like New Zealand."
More than a fifth of people aged between 18 and 29 say they would change roles entirely if it would result in a happier life.
One third of the men interviewed said they would take their career happiness into their own hands and start salary discussions with their managers in the next six months.