A quick-pulse study from BlessingWhite Research – PRINCETON, NJ – December 15, 2014.
As we wind down 2014, American workers are feeling more confident in the economic foundation their jobs depend on. Their expectations that their employer will support their career goals, however, continue to wear thin. The natural result is that many people are looking outside of their organizations for next-step opportunities, rather than committing to carving out a more meaningful role with their current employer.
Labor statistics bear this out: At its lowest point in 2009, the ratio of workers quitting to those being fired hit 0.7. It now sits at 1.6. When asked this month, we found 87% of employees said it was more likely they would quit than be fired, a gain of three percentage points over December 2013.
Earlier in 2014 BlessingWhite published a comprehensive review of the topic of career (see Navigating Ambiguity: Career Research Report 2014) and today we share another pulse-study on career perspectives.
A sample of 341 employed US workers taken in December 2014 reveals that:
- A substantial majority (70%) believe they personally have the biggest control over their next career move (as opposed to their manager or the company they work for).
- Their expectation of next career steps is more likely to include a new project or a new assignment (33%) or a move outside the company (29%) before a direct move up the corporate ladder (12%).
- The idea that the immediate manager is the main reason people consider leaving is an outdated concept – over three quarters (77%) of respondents do not credit managers with such influence.
- Just half (49%) of respondents believe their organizations care about employees’ career development.
- There has been a drop in the number of people who agree or strongly agree to the statement “I have decent career opportunities with my current employer”: only 52% agree (down 4 percentage points from last year).
- More people see options for self-employment, with 47% saying they would rather work for themselves (up 3 points from Dec 2013).
Bottom line: Individuals increasingly expect their careers to be self-directed. While this is healthy from the perspective of people taking ownership of their own progression and development, it is cutting organizations out of the dialogue. This in turn limits the ability to align the ambitions of individuals to the long-term goals of the organization.
By better understanding these expectations, and what individuals are looking for in their careers, organizations can develop more effective career programs, building commitment and engagement, and developing the workforce that will be needed to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
[Note: The sample was taken from 341 full-time US employed individuals aged 18 to 60 with a high school degree or better. Data collected in early Dec 2014 via online survey.]
Supporting Charts follow:
|I believe my next career move will most likely be…||Response Percent|
|a move outside the organization (I will quit)||29%|
|a new project or new assignment inside the organization||33%|
|a direct move up the corporate ladder||12%|
|I will be let go||3%|
|Who has the biggest control over your next career move?||Response Percent|
|My immediate manager||11.4%|
|My company’s human resources department||2.1%|
|Someone senior (above my immediate manager)||16.4%|
|Given the two following scenarios, which do you think is the most likely in the foreseeable future?||Response Percent|
|I quit my current job||87.4%|
|My employer asks me to leave||12.6%|
|My manager is the single biggest factor in whether or not I decide to stay or leave my current employer.||Response Percent|
|The organization I work for cares about my career development||Response Percent|
|I have decent career opportunities with my current employer||Response Percent|
|Given the choice I would rather work for:||Response Percent|
|Someone else (a company, a non-profit, government etc.)||52.5%|