‘Career Sleepwalking’ Prevails in India, LinkedIn Study Finds

May 3, 20199:11 am
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Today professionals in India are changing jobs and careers more than ever before and the days of a linear career path or life-long employment at a company are no longer the norm. LinkedIn’s new Career Pathways survey finds that one in three Indian professionals feel like they are ‘career sleepwalking’ – they feel stagnant as though they are on a treadmill going nowhere, and 57 percent would consider career pivoting in order to build a more fulfilling career. However, an impact on their pay packets and designation is deterring close to 51 percent of professionals from making the switch.

Today’s professional places greater value on doing what they love as a career choice (73 percent), followed by a healthy work-life balance (70 percent), a job that makes them a lot of money (57 percent), and finally 56 percent of respondents say that a job that provides learning and growth opportunities is also important.

While 62 percent professionals had chosen their careers because it is something they have always wanted to do, 53 percent chose their careers as it fulfils them, and only 38 percent say they chose it because it makes them a lot of money.

The first Career Pathways India survey by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, surveyed more than 5,000 full-time professionals across 11 cities in India, on how career paths are rapidly changing, what motivates different generations to stay in their current job, why they are increasingly keen on pivoting functions and industries, and what they believe will take them closer to their dream job.

“The Career Pathways India survey has surfaced some interesting insights — the highlight being that today’s professionals want a lot more fulfilment from their jobs and careers, and wish to be empowered to change roles and sectors. The LinkedIn platform is therefore perfectly poised to help the modern day Indian professional build and access a strong professional network, and find diverse economic opportunity and fulfilment,” said Mahesh Narayanan, Country Head – India, LinkedIn.

Younger professionals more open to change; 61 percent Millennials would consider changing careers

In terms of job stickiness, professionals are job-hopping more than ever before. One in three Millennials (33 percent) has had two jobs within the last five years, compared to one in five Gen X respondents (20 percent). Half of Gen Z respondents (50 percent) were in their last job only for six months to one year, and 28 percent of Gen Z respondents are likely to change their job in less than a year, the report says.

While job hopping amongst professionals has increased, the motivations for changing careers and jobs is different across generations. Over a third of Gen X respondents value the presence of clear career trajectory within their current job, compared to just under one in five Baby Boomer respondents (19 percent).

Younger professionals are much more open to change, and are discussing change with their managers, especially if it gives them more opportunity for learning and development. Nearly 61 percent of Millennials say they would consider switching careers compared to only 18 percent of Baby Boomers, and two in five (41 percent) Millennials say their current job makes them feel stressed, they can’t be themselves or they’re glad to be away from it. Millennials at 44.91 percent showed the highest likelihood of changing companies while considering a career change, compared to 34.19 percent of Gen Z’ers, who are more likely to switch job functions while considering a career change. Overall, across generations, 44 percent of respondents said they would consider changing companies versus 30 percent respondents who would consider switching job functions (e.g. marketing to product management).

A strong network and the right skills will lead them to their dream job

Professionals today want to gain greater control over their career paths, and hence it is not a surprise that 86 percent respondents appear to have a clear 5-year career plan in sight. Findings also clearly suggest that the Indian professional is redefining their career path to move closer to their dream job. While pay has always been a key motivator, passion has become more important for the modern professional, skills and learning take on a new relevance, and knowing the right connections forms the bedrock of their professional success.

As per this survey, today’s professional seems future-ready for the changing professional landscape with 80 percent of respondents believing that their current skill set allows them to pivot easily without compromising on their pay packet and designation. Almost 79 percent of respondents believe their current organisation allows them to career pivot internally with Learning & Development modules, internships, coaching and mentoring programs in place.

A strong network and knowing the right people is voted as the key to getting closer to your dream job by a majority 76 percent of respondents. The right skills (65 percent), and having access to and knowing about the right opportunities (46 percent) can help them get closer to their dream job. At the same time, today’s passion-driven professional would make bold trade-offs to find success. In the survey, 56 percent of respondents say they would give up work-life balance for their dream job while another 54 percent would give up a large pay packet.  

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