Isn’t it alarming that 37% of employees in the workforce have no sense of a career path – considered as an epidemic called ‘Career Sleepwalking’? This is according to a report from LinkedIn Learning that the figure is increasing and 23% feel like they are “on a treadmill going nowhere.” Because of this, 80% of those under 24 would more like to consider switching careers, industries, and functions.
That’s bad news for employers because the market demands a lot, begins to tighten that they have to set higher standards, at the same time, having to face the challenge of employee retention because of this disturbing trend. Burnt out employees move from one job to another in search for a better place to work, better pay and environment. In the long run, this would begin to frustrate them as they haven’t set a direction, purpose, and goal in place that they no longer see themselves valuable to the company.
This topic will cover the following:
- Avoiding Career Sleepwalking
- Getting Out from Career Sleepwalking
- Career Change in the Industry and Knowing Your Hook
- Setting Expectations Properly
AVOIDING CAREER SLEEPWALKING
It’s a thing that many professionals don’t know what to do with their careers when they reach a certain time in the organization – more so, even when they are asked during the interview how they see themselves in the next 5 or 10 years. Some even think that climbing the corporate ladder is the way to go and when they are in the middle of rising through the ranks, they realize that this isn’t what they want after all.
- Start asking yourself what you really want in life especially in your career. You’ve seen the statistics that many people hate or have outgrown their jobs, and now seek better opportunities. So why join them?
- Make sure that you can leverage your skills, your connections, and professional brand in finding the next company you’d like to work in. Draw upon these areas of expertise in a creative way.
- Think about it over and over again. Jot down in a notebook and list all the companies you’d like to work for and think carefully of the pros and cons of each company you’d be applying in. In this way, you’d be able to weigh in which one to go for the best.
GETTING OUT OF CAREER SLEEPWALKING
Say you’ve stayed in the same role or in a company for a long time and you’re wondering whether now is the right time to have a career pivot or move on from another industry. Guess what? The answers are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Change is terrifying and worse, failing when changing careers is painful. So this can be different for each person and depending on the situation.
- Gauge your capability in switching careers; are you financially stable? Do you have the skills that the company you’d like to get in is looking for? If you’re unsure where you’re heading, it’s best to consider learning a new skill that would help you make your first move.
- Join professional networking groups that would help you expand your contacts in your industry. If you surround yourself with other highly motivated individuals, this can help you continue to learn and grow in the field. Devcurate has an impact talent network that allows you to be part of a growing community. This means you can gain access to our different impact programs, find suitable job opportunities that we can match for you through our AI-based system.
- It is recommended that you find at least 2 mentors or people that can help guide you through your career. The first mentor should be someone from your organization who can help you steer your career to the right direction and open possible doors for you. The second mentor should be from the outside who can give you a broader perspective of your field opportunities outside of your organization. They can be specialists in your field or career coaching experts who can help you decide on what career you can go for, or even professionals from your network who can give you sound advice to help you weigh decisions better.
“So think carefully whether this is the right time to eject yourself from working long hours or not. Everyone has their own reasons to transition but it doesn’t mean you have to follow what others are doing.“
CAREER CHANGE IN THE INDUSTRY AND KNOWING YOUR ‘HOOK’
If you’ve deliberately thought that now is the right time to jump and you’ve given it a second thought, then you must know what your hook is.
“Whatever industry you are in, there is always a competition.”
There will always be people who are better than you, more skillful than you are, and more experienced in the field. Ensure your professional brand makes sense to your next employer.
If you’re in the corporate industry and you feel like giving emphasis on doing charitable missions this time like jumping to a nonprofit career, there are many skills the impact sector. For example, the United Nations is seeking for a Population Data Analyst and the primary qualifications are computer skills (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, social media), and you indicated on your CV that you know how to use the computer but didn’t bother to go into detail where surprisingly have those required skills plus a certification for each tool – most likely UN wouldn’t see that you are a terrific candidate for the job.
The easier you make it for them to understand that you’re a perfect candidate for the job, the better the odds will be that they’ll hire you. Recruiters have hundreds of applications to go through so apparently, they don’t have time to deduce why you make a good fit for the job they posted. Make it obvious for them to see that your skills on paper and on LinkedIn are what they’re looking for.
SETTING EXPECTATIONS PROPERLY
When making a career change in life, it only makes sense to research the organization you’re going to give your application to. You check the background of the organization, who are the executives, what are the products or services they are selling to consumers, and the list goes on. This is crucial because you don’t want to be walking into the interview setting some unrealistic expectations to the employer.
If we’re to use the example before – when switching from corporate to impact sector, you must be willing to see through that the stark difference between the two. For instance, you expect to have the same administrative support staff, cutting-edge technology, or high salaries tied with the title you had in your previous job. Companies develop products and services that solve a problem or increase efficiency to bring in more revenue. However, the impact sector doesn’t prioritize profits, but instead dedicate to promoting a social cause or advocating for a particular standpoint therefore, pay, sometimes cannot be equal with the pay you expected.
Use the knowledge you’ve learned from your own research to prove to potential employers what you’re capable of as well as expectations are aligned with reality.
Career Sleepwalking may be a bad thing but you can use this to your advantage in knowing what you really want in life.
Are you thinking about a career pivot? Are you planning on making a switch from the corporate world to the nonprofit field? Have you made the leap already?