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Meeting Career Goals

Canadians are generally satisfied with their ability to meet their career goals, although satisfaction is less widespread among the unemployed, and residents of Ontario and B.C. Passion for their work and a sense of achievement drive those who are satisfied, whereas lack of job opportunities is the main source of frustration among those who are not.

 

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.

This study asked Canadians how satisfied they are with their ability to meet their career goals in order to determine whether the recession had a significant effect on Canadians’ short- and long-term employment outlook. Many Canadians are positive about their ability to meet their career goals, despite the pressure placed on them during the recession. Three-quarters are very (26%) or somewhat (50%) satisfied with their ability to meet their career goals, while the other quarter are somewhat (17%) or very (6%) dissatisfied.

Majorities of Canadians are similarly satisfied with their ability to meet their career goals, but employment status, region, and job tenure and position, do make a difference. Unsurprisingly, unemployed Canadians are the least satisfied with their ability to meet their career goals (only 40% compared to 76% of Canadians overall). As well, residents of Ontario and British Columbia, albeit still majorities, are somewhat less likely than Canadians who live elsewhere to be satisfied, perhaps reflecting the more significant economic downturns experienced in these provinces. In contrast, Canadians with longer tenures with their current employers (7+ years), and those in executive or management positions express the most confidence in their ability to meet their career goals.

Among those Canadians who are satisfied with their ability to meet their career goals, why do they feel this way? When asked (unprompted, without response options offered), Canadians are most likely to be satisfied because they either enjoy and/or love their jobs (26%), feel they have achieved or surpassed their goals (24%), or because they have job security, financial stability and opportunities for continued growth (18%). Smaller proportions of Canadians (11% or fewer) mention other reasons why they are satisfied. These include the opportunity to use their skills and education, their ability to comfortably retire and the sense they have the freedom to do what they want.

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 Q.12b Why do you say you are satisfied?
Subsample: Those who are satisfied with their ability to meet career goals.

Among those Canadians who are dissatisfied, why is this the case? By far, Canadians in this group are most likely to feel frustrated because there are no job opportunities (35%). The second most common reason for dissatisfaction is a sense of lack of direction (22%), followed by the lack of education or experience necessary to get a satisfying job (13%). Smaller proportions of Canadians (11% or fewer) mention other reasons that include current unemployment, inadequate financial compensation, or the sense that it is too late-in-the game for a career change.

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Q. 12b Why do you say you are dissatisfied?
Subsample: Those who are dissatisfied with their ability to meet career goals.

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

 

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