– What influences how we manage our careers?
– Why do we choose one offer over another?
– Is it really bad to stay 12 years at the same company?
– Should we denounce people who change jobs frequently?
– What about buying into the rat race?
– Does it make you happy to climb the corporate ladder?
– You really prefer atmosphere & people over money & prestige?
– They call you immature for not choosing a serious path?
– Your main driver is self-development?
– Do you catch yourself thinking, “I hate managing people!“?
– Frustration kicks in when there’s too much routine?
According to a LinkedIn survey published in 2018:
– 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 the company Decision Dynamics, as many as 64% of 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. We often pick our career (university) based on how close to or far away from our home it is, how well-paid it is in the short run, how popular with friends or parents or 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 (sometimes – 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 :))
– read books on career with a focus on self-awareness
– take (free) online tests like www.16personalities.com, The Gallup Strengths Finder and our favourite: Career View by Decision Dynamics
Here’s why the Career View Test is our favorite
Answer the following two questions honestly:
How would you define a successful career?
If everything was possible, how would your most satisfying and fulfilling career path look like?
36% of the respondents would answer both questions (almost) identically, whereas 64% would give two slightly or completely different answers. This information comes from Decision Dynamics, a company that has been collecting and analyzing data on i.a. people’s careers for over 40 years. What else does the research tell us?
1) There’s a “brain-level” and a “heart-level” response
2) There are common patterns
Decision Dynamics’ Career Model consists of four main Career Concepts or views of an ideal career:
The Expert Career Concept is the most stable and historically dominant view of a successful career as being a lifelong commitment to a profession with which one identifies. Success means to be the best, i.e. the expert in one’s area.
The Linear Career Concept is instead focused on rapid movement upward the “corporate ladder”. Success is measured in the level one has reached, which can be translated in responsibility, power and influence.
The Spiral Career Concept is a less traditional view where one rather discovers one’s career through periodic (5-10 years) lateral changes of occupational fields. Success means frequent opportunities to widen one’s competence base and get new experiences.
The Transitory Career Concept is the most change-oriented and least conventional view, even to the extent that many consider it as not even a career. The more different and frequent the changes, the better.
Please note that this model can also be applied throughout an entire organization for better candidate, role and culture fitting.
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) CareerAngels.eu or click here. Please note: the Skype call of approx. 45 min is confidential, non-obligatory and free of charge.