FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Toronto, Ontario (September 1, 2005) – The lazy days of summer are coming to an end, and with Labour Day nearly here, it's back to school for children and back to work for much of the adult population. According to a recent survey on workopolis.com, Canada's biggest job site, almost one in five (17%) Canadians say they dread going to work each day; and another one in three (32%) feel their job is just a means to earn a living. For these Canadians, a career self-assessment may be long overdue.
"Too many Canadians get caught up in the daily routine of going to work without analyzing their job progress or closely managing their careers," said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. "As Labour Day nears, Canadians should take the time to evaluate their current job and how well their career goals and needs are being met."
Make the Best of It
According to the Workopolis Labour Day survey, more than one-third of respondents say they changed jobs three or more times in the past five years. That's a lot of movement, which may not be ideal for career development.
The survey also showed that many Canadians feel their current job isn't giving them enough opportunity for advancement, skill development or new experiences:
- Almost two-thirds (64%) say they have little to no opportunity for advancement
- One-third (36%) say they have little opportunity to develop their skill-set
- Another one-third (35%) feel their jobs are routine with no exposure to new experiences
Workopolis Career Check-Up: Look Before You Leap
These are all strong indicators that respondents are not getting what they need at work, but that doesn't always mean it's time to move on to the next job. Reaching a plateau at your job is reason to look for new opportunity and challenges, but consider what can be done to exhaust all the opportunities for learning and growth in your current job before you decide to leave.
Workopolis recommends that employees keep the lines of communication open with management to ensure they regularly get exposure to new challenges and experiences. If you're not feeling enthusiastic about going to work each day, talk to your manager about specific things you can do. For example, can your range of responsibilities be expanded? Are there courses you can enroll in so you can learn new skills that can then be applied to your job? Are their certain benchmarks you need to reach in order to be considered for a promotion? Be proactive and seek out your manager to talk about what you need to be happier at work.
"A job can be very much like a relationship. You need to stay current with what both sides – in this case employer and employee – are thinking at all times, so you can both understand each other's goals and needs," added Sullivan.
Is it Right For Me?
Almost two thirds (61%) of Canadians confess to taking a job, knowing it wasn't the right fit for them, and most (59%) of those say they did so because they needed a job. While it's a truism that patience is a virtue, it's especially crucial if you want to get yourself, and keep yourself, on the right career path. There are two key questions job seekers should ask themselves while they evaluate any job opportunity: Is it the right fit? And will it take you in the career direction you want to go in?
There are many factors to consider in determining if a job is right for you. According to the survey:
- Thirty-five per cent of respondents indicate that opportunities for learning and growth are most important in determining if the job is right for them
- Another one-quarter (26%) cite personal satisfaction as most important
- Work-life balance is the key ingredient for 18 per cent
- Only one in ten (11%) cite salary level
- And another six per cent say the people they work with are the deciding factor
Workopolis Career Check-Up: Practice What You Preach
While survey respondents report that in theory, they plan their career progress over the long term, in practice they're more short sighted. Half (50%) of the Workopolis Labour Day respondents say that when they are considering a job opportunity, they are looking for a long term position that will help them build their career. Yet, when evaluating the actual job they hold today, just sixteen per cent say it will take them in their career direction. Nearly half (47%) say they will ultimately need to move on to a new job to achieve their career goals, and another one-third (31%) say their current job is just a job and it's not about a career.
Don't Fake It!
- One-third (31%) of respondents admit to faking a sick day in the last year!
"If you're calling in sick because you need a vacation, talk to your manager about an extra day off, or a day without pay," added Sullivan. If you're calling in sick regularly, you may be long overdue for a career check-up."
Consider the fundamental issue of being happy at your job. While it may sound simplistic, be sure to take the time to analyze and understand yourself so you are clear on what you need to feel content at work – be it your responsibilities, the work environment, the nature of the organization or another factor. Don't take the first job that comes along, but rather determine what it is that makes you feel happy on the job. Then you can commit to taking and staying with only those positions that best fit the bill.
Workopolis recommends Canadians treat Labour Day, the start of a new work year, as a time to evaluate their current job and career goals. To do an annual career self-assessment, Canadians should ask themselves the following questions:
- Has your skill-set improved over the last year?
- Have you been exposed to new experiences and opportunities?
- What were your goals for this year? Have they been met?
- Are you being challenged enough at your job, or have you reached a plateau?
- Are you on the career path that's right for you?
Workopolis is Canada's leading provider of Internet recruiting and job search solutions offering a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications, products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:
- workopolis.com™, Canada's biggest job site—with the most jobs, visitors and employers of any Canadian job site
- workopolisCampus.com, Canada's biggest job site for students and recent graduates
- CorporateWorks™, Canada's most implemented recruitment management solution using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate career sites
Workopolis is a unique and complementary partnership of three Canadian media companies, The Globe and Mail division of Bell Globemedia, Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada. Workopolis has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
About the poll: More than 10,000 Canadians responded to the poll posted on workopolis.com between July 20 and July 28, 2005.
For further information:
Jill Rosenberg/Tina Gladstone