Do you manage your career or does your career manage you?

According to a LinkedIn survey published on August 15:

  • the average American has been in the same job for 9.88 years, rising substantially to 13.91 years for professionals over 55
  • 22% admit that they “fell” into their job rather than actively choosing
  • 23% say that they feel like they are “on a treadmill going nowhere”

Although the data represents 2000 US American professionals, we confirm that – based on our experience and observation – the numbers across Europe could be very similar.

At Career Angels we call that a career “on autopilot”. Looking at the research data from Decision Dynamics, as many as 64% of over a million professionals do not have a career that matches their innermost preferences and motives.

Why does that happen and what can you do about it?

There are plenty of reasons. Let’s look at some of them.

Choosing a job right out of university which is:

  • close to or far away from your home
  • well-paid in the short run
  • popular with friends or your parents
  • convenient for so many other reasons

Let’s be realistic: how much did the 23-year old you know about the job market and the opportunities out there? The different kinds of career paths? Organizations?

Big organizations do a great job retaining talent by offering various options regularly. Consequently, employees are in a comfort zone which – let’s face it – excuses them from taking the necessary time and insight to think hard about themselves and their actual preferences. It allows them to choose the easiest way. What would be the alternative? As some would describe it or many perceive it: a tedious, stressful, loooong job search.

We (usually) do what we think is expected from us… by ourselves, our parents, society, our bosses. Therefore we take job offers that we rather would decline and slip e.g. into managerial roles while we actually would much rather be working in an expert role with no team responsibility.

What can you do about it?
Explore yourself, your preferences, values, motives and strengths. How?

  • find somebody to talk about it – sometimes having coffee with a friend and voicing your concerns / thoughts helps clarify things
  • work with a coach / mentor / consultant (or Career Angel :))
  • take (free) online tests like, The Gallup Strengths Finder and our favourite: Career View by Decision Dynamics
  • read books on career with a focus on self-awareness

To read the full LinkedIn survey, click here.

Would you like to switch off your own autopilot and increase your self-awareness? Would you like to talk about it confidentially? Maybe take the Career View test? Send an email to Bichl.Sandra (at) or click here. Please note: the Skype call of approx. 45 min is confidential, non-obligatory and free of charge.