Despite the slow economic recovery, the buzz lately is that employees are ready to make a move. At least, they are giving it serious thought and making plans to move on. Fueled by increased workloads, pay cuts, reduced benefits and lack of promotional opportunities, career satisfaction amongst the employed is at an all time low. The old saying ‘one foot out the door’ is not unusual these days and has employers struggling with reduced productivity amongst their troops. If the primary focus is to ’escape’ their current job, employees are spending more time planning their next gig rather than putting that same effort into their jobs.
According to a recent Employment Confidence Survey conducted by Glassdoor.com, one in five (21%) of employees expect to look for a new job should the economy return to pre-recession levels. Adecco’s recent workplace survey indicates more than half (54%) of employed Americans are likely to look for new jobs once the economy turns around. Among younger employees (18 to 29) that number jumps to 71%. And, according to recent U.S. government statistics, more employees voluntarily quit their jobs than were discharged in February, March and April. Obviously, those who once felt to be held ‘hostage’ by their employers are no longer willing to stick around for the promise of better working conditions.
The point is, even if employees have not ‘jumped ship’ yet, they are certainly thinking about it. Their priority is to move on and not necessarily put that same amount of effort into helping their employers get back on their feet. With many companies struggling to bounce back, this lack of job focus could potentially put the brakes on a full economic recovery.
With December 2007 being the official start of the recession it is no wonder employees’ job frustrations are reaching the breaking point and they are getting serious about moving on. However, we all know the job search, these days, is no walk in the park. I tell my coaching clients to stay positive, have a plan, build new skills and network their hearts out. While some balk at the idea of networking and would rather spend their time responding to job board postings, the fact is, their chances of finding jobs that way is really a waste of time. With social networking tools like Linkedin and Twitter, networking just got a whole lot easier. Check out Susan Whitcomb’s article, ‘10 Reasons Why Twitter in the Job Search Cannot Be Ignored’ and the New Grad Life video, ‘How New Grads Can Find Jobs on Linkedin’ for tips on using these tools for your job search. So, if you are serious about making a move get familiar with the social networking. I guarantee you, the time spent on Linkedin and Twitter will be 10 times more effective than responding to on-line job postings.
Sure, you may be burned out in your current job. But rather than dwell on all the negative aspects of your job, try building new skills. This can be accomplished by volunteering for projects at your company or going back to school to pick up a new skill you have been putting off. Learning something new will also help you stay positive on the job and in your networking efforts. Prospective employers will notice the enthusiasm in your voice if you are engaged in something you are passionate about.
So if you are one of the many considering a career move this year take time to make a plan. Your job search should not be a reactionary decision because you are fed up with your present situation. Stay positive by committing to learn a new job skill. Maybe becoming familiar with social networking tools can be that new skill. And finally, take the time to cultivate new work relationships by networking. It can mean the difference between staying where you are and moving on.