Monday, January 26, 2009

One-in-Five Workers Plan to Change Jobs in 2009

Even with slower hiring predicted for 2009, 19 percent of workers say finding a new job is on their list and the same amount say they actually plan to leave their current job before the end of the year, according to's latest survey. The survey, titled "2009 Job Forecast," was conducted from November 12 through December 1, 2008, and included more than 8,800 workers. Additionally, six-in-ten workers say the economy and the tightening job market are not making them hold off on their plans to change jobs.

Workers cited a variety of reasons for wanting to leave their jobs in the new year, with the most workers, 49 percent, reporting that better pay and/or career advancement opportunities are the primary reasons they plan to leave their current positions. Fourteen percent are looking for an environment where they feel more appreciated and 10 percent want to work for a company that is making a difference. Seven percent of workers are electing to change careers entirely, while 3 percent say they are leaving their jobs because they want more flexibility or plan to go back to school.

Looking at key factors that influence job satisfaction and company loyalty, workers reported the following:

Pay – A quarter of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their pay. Thirty-five percent of workers did not receive a raise in 2008. Of those that did receive one, 25 percent were given an increase of 2 percent or less. Sixty-three percent of workers did not receive a bonus.
Career Advancement – Twenty-six percent of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the career advancement opportunities provided by their current employers. Eighty percent did not ask for or receive a promotion in 2008 and 20 percent felt they were overlooked.
Work/Life Balance – Eighteen percent of workers are dissatisfied with work/life balance and 54 percent report their workloads have increased over the last six months.
Training/Learning – Twenty-three percent of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with training and learning opportunities provided by their current employers.

When applying for new positions, workers say the most important attributes they look for in employers are:

  • Company's stability and longevity in the market (32 percent)
  • Good career advancement opportunities (20 percent)
  • Good work culture (14 percent)
  • Ability to offer flexible schedules (12 percent)

"January is typically one of the busiest job search months of the year and this year should be no exception with increased unemployment combined with workers who are putting their New Year's resolutions into action," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at "Although seven-in-ten workers say they are satisfied with their jobs, some are always on the lookout for a greener pastures. In fact, 82 percent of workers said while they are not actively looking for a new position, they would be open to one if they came across the right opportunity."

For those actively searching for new opportunities in the new year, Haefner recommends the following:

1) Be patient – More than one-in-five employers (20 percent) report it typically takes them two months or longer to fill their open positions. In addition, companies are receiving more resumes for each of their open positions, requiring more time to make sure they hire the best candidate for the job. Job seekers need to be aware of these time frames when performing their search.
2) Use the job posting – Job postings clearly spell out what employers are looking for. Update your resume using some of the same key words and phrases directly from the job posting. If the employer is using an automated system to scan resumes, your updated resume will surely stand out.
3) Get online now! – While nearly three-in-ten (28 percent) of employers say their recruitment budgets will decrease for 2009, 19 percent report they plan to spend more of their money looking for talent on online recruitment sites. Explore generalist sites, niche boards and local job boards, and post your resume on as many as you feel could benefit your search. Also, take advantage of the functions on each site to boost your exposure.


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