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Changing Jobs

Six in ten Canadians are content with their work, though younger Canadians are more divided. Among those who plan to move on, their chief interest is to secure a role with more responsibility or closer to their field of interest.

 

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) has released findings of a survey conducted by Environics Research Group asking Canadians about their job satisfaction, their perceptions about their workplaces and performance management, and the tools and resources they turn to when looking for a job or building a career. This project is a follow-up to a benchmark initiative completed in 2007 that asked similar questions. This article is an excerpt from the 2011 survey report.

The 2010 CERIC survey assessed the degree to which Canadians are content with their current line of work, or whether they hope to move on to something else. A majority (62%) of Canadians are generally content with the type of job or work that they do, though a third (33%) express a desire to move on to a new line of work. An individual’s contentment with his or her current line of work is closely connected to overall job satisfaction, as well as optimism about meeting career goals. Those who are the most satisfied with their jobs and more optimistic about the future of their careers are the least likely to express a desire to move on. As well, those who feel they are being paid a fair amount are more likely to be content with their jobs, with contentment rising to eight in ten (79%) among those who feel strongly that they are remunerated appropriately

Socio-demographically, Canadians’ contentment with their work varies little, although Canadians with household incomes of $100,000 to $150,000 are slightly more likely (75% versus 62% overall) than others to be content with their current line of work.

However, as could be expected, Canadians under the age of 30 are the least content with their current work and express the greatest desire to move on. The fact that they are in the most formative part of their careers, likely still looking for a position that fits with their personal career aspirations or training, plus the higher incidence of part-time work in this age group, likely all contribute to the more widespread desire to move on to a different position among younger Canadians.

Contentment with type of job, by age

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Q.9 Are you generally content with the type of job or work you do, or do you hope to move on to something else? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time.

But, in addition to their life-stage, younger Canadians do express a higher level of dissatisfaction in the workplace. They are more likely than older Canadians to sometimes feel their jobs are meaningless (44% versus 36% overall) or that others have better opportunities for advancement (43% versus 35% overall).

What do Canadians want to move on to? Among those Canadians who hope to move on from their present job, what do they want to do? When asked (unprompted, without response options offered), they are most likely to express a desire to move into a position with more responsibility (20%) or a position in their field of interest (20%). Smaller proportions would also like to attain a position that uses their education or training (16%), or pays more (13%). Only 14 percent wish to move on to ‘something’ different or better, suggesting that most Canadians have an idea about the direction that their career should take in the near future.

Next step in career (top mentions)

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Q.10 What do you hope to move on to? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time, and who hope to move on to something else.

As for how they plan to move on, these Canadians’ top strategy is to actively continue their job search (46%). A smaller group (24%) report longer-term plans of furthering their education and general experience in order to ultimately land their new role, while one in ten (9%) report they actively network and use their contacts. A significant minority (26%) are unable to describe how they plan to move on to their next job.

Perceived next steps necessary to move on to a new type of job

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Q.11 How will you move on? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time, and who hope to move on to something else.

Read the full report, “On-line survey on public perceptions about career development and the workplace”, on the CERIC website.

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