Most of us will at one time or another have wondered whether or not we were in the right job. While this may be no more than a response to a bad day in the office, research by the Skills Commission has shown that many of us are in the wrong job – one in five of us, in fact. And 41% of those questioned admitted to having been in the wrong job at some point in their careers.
According to the research, people spend an average of four years and 10 months in jobs that fail to make the most of their skills. And just 4% of those who managed to escape from the wrong job sought formal careers advice before making a move. So why are employees ending up in the wrong job?
Asked where they went for careers advice, it transpired that …
• 65% of the respondents had had formal career advice over the course of their careers
• 41% sought informal advice from friends (this went up to 76% among 18-24 year olds)
• 37% found their career tips online
• 32% asked Mum and Dad …
• 25% asked other family members
Given the range of sources, it’s inevitable that there will be a certain degree of inconsistency – and are parents really impartial, never mind qualified and experienced, enough to give careers advice? And it’s hardly surprising that so many people end up wrongly employed if they’re relying on their friends for advice – unless they happen to be careers counsellors, that is.
What is going wrong at the recruitment stage? There seems to be an enormous amount of mis-hiring going on …. Perhaps the responsibility lies with the organisations themselves. HR teams should be aware of whether staff are happy at work, and whether they are suited to their roles. Ignoring the issue could have serious implications, in terms of staff turnover, morale, performance and even, in more extreme cases, mental health problems.