Project manage your career

New research reveals that half of all workers “fell into” their careers. 

A survey, commissioned by recruitment firm Chandler Macleod, finds half of all workers did not plan their careers, and instead left their career paths to chance.

Interestingly, the survey found three-in-four workers reported being pigeonholed by employers because of their current jobs or careers. The university-educated (86 per cent) were more likely to feel pigeonholed by their career than those without a tertiary degree (70 per cent).

The top three reasons why respondents chose their current jobs were:

  • they felt ‘able’ to do the job
  • the job was available at the time of their search
  • the job was linked to subjects they were interested in at school.

Involving some 648 workers aged between 18 and 64 years, the study also found that 20 per cent were actively looking for a new job or career and 44 per cent were “keeping an eye out”.

So, not only do we have an escalating skills shortage, but we have millions of people who are unhappy, unsuited to their position and unsure of how to approach their next career move.

In What color is your parachute, the world’s best selling career hunting book, Richard Nelson Bolles says that finding a “life-changing” career involves:

  • Wanting to basically put a sense of mission into your life
  • Looking for a place where you (like a flower) can grow – even if it means you have to talk organisations in to creating a job for you
  • Learning as much about yourself and what you want .

So, here’s my piece of advice: manage your career like you’d manage a project.  Think strategically about your strengths and weaknesses.  Ask yourself: what kind of work do I find both energising and challenging?  Analyse your skills gap and look for education or knowledge to close that gap.  And look for opportunities that complement your skill set, your values and your life ambitions.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Walden said,

    It’s about getting out there, isn’t it. Henry David Thoreau said most men live lives of quiet desperation. Don’t let your songs go unsung and all of that.


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