“Career Plans Are Worthless; Planning Is Everything” According to New Research by BlessingWhite

2014 Study Provides Insights for Job-Seekers, Workers and EmployersPSGCNJ - career-discussion-600px

By Frances Chaves

BlessingWhite studied 2,000 responses to an online survey as well as over 40 interviews with professionals worldwide to determine current perspectives on careers.

According to Fraser Marlow, Vice President of Marketing & Asia Pacific at BlessingWhite Inc., “One of our motivations behind this research was to provide a resource to help people better understand how to find work that ‘works for them’. If you are looking for that next role or considering a change, we encourage you to invest some time thinking about what role might be the best fit, based on your experience, current situation, and the opportunities that you can identify. Too many people quit their current jobs thinking that the grass is greener elsewhere — but until we have a good grasp on what type of work and career moves will truly provide us with satisfaction and fulfillment, it’s unlikely that simply starting something new will help.”

In summary, individuals reported that relying primarily on one’s current employer to provide opportunities or a clear career path is a thing of the past. Instead, the best options for career growth, professional satisfaction and job security reside in building skills and experiences that make the individual highly valued. The number of people who agreed that it is OK to stay in the same role as long as there is still an opportunity to develop and learn new things increased from 80 percent in 2007 to 88 percent in 2014.

Some key data points:

Employees are more definitive in how they control and direct their careers, despite the ambiguity and uncertainty that prevails:

  • 51% of respondents agree with the statement “I don’t think in terms of ‘career.’ When I make job changes, I look for ‘work’ that is satisfying.”
  • 74% say they “actively manage my career based on clear personal goals.”
  • 56% of employees report knowing what they want their next job to be, but only 24% know what their employer has planned for them as a next career step. 14% are completely in the dark.
  • 51% of respondents agree with the statement “I don’t think in terms of ‘career.’ When I make job changes, I look for ‘work’ that is satisfying.”
  • Only 41% of employees expect their employer to outline any kind of career path for them.

What people are looking for:

Respondents ranked “the most important criterion you will look for in your next position” as follows:

#1: Interesting work – work that challenges and helps people broaden their knowledge (31%)
#2: Work/Life balance (18%)
#3: Meaningful work jostle for second place (18%)
#4: Financial rewards.

Items such as leadership, cultural fit, job stability or opportunity for promotion come lower on people’s priorities.

Gen Y tend to value financial rewards higher (relatively), while Gen X place more emphasis on work/life balance. Baby Boomers place more relative weight on meaningful work.

The full report, Navigating Ambiguity: Career Research Report 2014 can be accessed by going to http://www.blessingwhite.com/career.


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