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Not a nation of clock-punchers

Wednesday December 03, 2014 Written by 
Canadians want and expect fulfillment from their jobs, but four in 10 aren't getting it.

According to a new Monster Canada survey, 59 per cent of working Canadians agree their jobs have a major impact on their lives and how they feel.

Only 37 per cent of working Canadians report that their jobs are just something they do to make ends meet, and seek fulfillment in other areas of their lives.

But employers should take note of potential flight risks: a large pool of employees haven't yet identified a career path that they feel will lead to satisfaction at their current workplace.

"While it's encouraging to see that many have found the job that changed their life, the numbers show that many others still have a desire to find better," said Sheryl Boswell of Monster Canada. "Given how emotionally invested Canadians have told us they are in their work, finding a fulfilling job is paramount when it comes to overall happiness, and employers need to take note."

A life-changing job

Many Canadians have experienced a life-changing job. Two-thirds of working Canadians (67 per cent) agreed with the statement, "The job I have now changed my life," and six in 10 (61 per cent) agree with the statement, "A previous job I held changed my life."

Eighty-six per cent of working Canadians say the jobs that changed their lives identified new skills they possess and new things they are good at. Eight in 10 (80 per cent) say their life-changing job helped them determine what is meaningful to them and what increases their sense of self-worth.

Financial improvements (70 per cent) and increased work-life balance (65 per cent), trailed these options.

Youthful optimism

When working Canadians were asked if they think it's likely that a job will change their lives in the future, the responses were sharply divided and skewed by the age of the respondents:

  • Fifty-three per cent of working Canadians are somewhat likely (34 per cent) or very likely (18 per cent) to agree that a future job will change their lives.
  • Among the optimists are 72 per cent of workers between the ages of 18 and 34. This number drops to 60 per cent at the age of 35, and plummets to 45 per cent at the age of 45.
  • Forty-one per cent of workers say it's somewhat (23 per cent) or very (18 per cent) unlikely that they will find a job in the future that will change their lives.

Employers beware

Many working Canadians are still seeking more from their jobs. Among those still searching, the perception is that more money would make a significant difference.

The survey found:

  • Thirty-nine per cent of working Canadians agree with the statement, "I will have to change employers in order to find the job that will change my life."
  • Nearly half of all workers (48 per cent) say being paid "significantly more" than they are now would make their job life-changing.
  • Two in 10 (20 per cent) say more flexibility/work-life balance would make their job life-changing. In this respect, there was no difference between men and women.
  • Canadians also say personal fulfillment (19 per cent) and identifying new skills and new things they're good at (13 per cent) would make their job life-changing.

"For employees, knowing what aspects of employment bring you joy or satisfaction should play an important role in any job search and it's important to be honest with yourself," added Boswell. "On the other hand, employers must also have effective talent acquisition and management strategies in place to seek out the best employees and help them hone their skills."

The online survey was conducted by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group's online LegerWeb poll.

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