Are you sleepwalking through your career?

Struggling to get promoted? Can’t see a career path for yourself? Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? You might find solace in a new study that says you’re not alone.

A report released this month by LinkedIn has revealed a significant number of employees are sleepwalking through their careers. The survey of more than 2,000 professionals in the United States in May 2018 found 37% of employees believe they have no sense of a career path, and 23% believe they are on ‘a treadmill going nowhere’. 22% say they ‘fell’ into their job rather than actively choosing it.

As for younger workers, career sleepwalking appears to be a common theme. 80% of employees under 24 would consider switching their careers and over a fifth of under 24s have already had more than 4 full time jobs. Workers under 24 are 3x more likely to job hop than ‘Baby Boomers’ the report suggests.

Career sleepwalking

The major finding of the report is a significant number of employees feel they are idling on a professional plateau without a means to develop. Interestingly however, 40% of professionals under 24 would ask their boss about making a career change. This isn’t a case of idleness it seems, but one of internal opportunity.

So, why not get a new job? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

A Harris Poll/University of Phoenix survey released last year sheds light on this. The survey found that 81% of employees have identified barriers preventing them from changing careers. 29% said they cannot afford to start over again, 24% said they don’t know which career to change to, and the other 24% said they lack the adequate education or experience to start a new career.

Not sure if you’re career sleepwalking? Those of you who are unmotivated in your roles, avoiding your work to-do list or aren’t passionate about what you do could well be stuck in a rut.

Escaping your career rut

Unless your boss agrees on giving you a promotion you’re not going to progress up the ladder like you want to. Or, if you work in sales and are unable to hit your targets needed to reach the next step up, you may get stuck at your current level.

So, you have two choices to escape your career rut. You can either talk to your boss about a career change, or you can look outside your workplace for a new challenge.

We’re big believers in making the most of what you have, so consider what you want and whether you can achieve those things where you work now. If the answer is no, the glorious world of new opportunity awaits you. Take LinkedIn’s study at face value, and you’re not alone in your quest either.