It seems everywhere I turn I see the same statistic. Over 70% of the employees dislike their jobs and find them unfulfilling.
We might come to the conclusion that most of us will have to endure our work as a means to an end, like paying bills or making it to the weekend, even if it lacks fulfillment and meaning.
The market place is certainly changing. In his book, “48 Days to the Work You Love” Dan Miller writes that
- the average person will have over 10 jobs between the ages of 18 & 42
- the average length of a job in America is 2.2 years
- the average length of a job for someone in their 20’s is 13 months.
A Forbes article titled, “Job Hopping is the New Normal for Millennials” suggests the average job tenure is decreasing and that moving from job to job, once seen as detrimental to one’s career is now common place. What use to be seen as a character flaw, (Why can’t you keep a job) is now viewed as normal.
The Canadian market is no different. According to Workopolis:
- 51 per cent of people now stay in any one role for under two years.
- 30 per cent of people stay in any one job for over four years.
- Gen Xers, worked an average of 3.2 jobs in the first 12 years of their career, staying approximately 3.4 years in each job.
- Generation Y, held 3.9 jobs over their first 12 years on the job market, with a shorter tenure of 2.7 years in each job.
- If the current trend continues, Canadians can expect to hold roughly 15 jobs in their careers.
In essence then, almost everyone who is working, is looking for work. Think about it. If people are changing jobs every 2-4 years, they are likely actively searching for the next job almost right away. Most of the people you work with are likely engaged at some level of job search.
All this is not to suggest that these changes in the workforce is a direct correlation with job dissatisfaction. But if 70% of the workforce is unhappy in their current work, is there anything that can be done to change that statistic?
Maybe the question is more pressing than we realize. According to the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention more people die at 9am Monday morning than any other time of the week. Is there a direct link between the stress and dissatisfaction levels at work and the mortality rate?
What if you could find work you love? What if it were possible? And what if it was the right thing to pursue?
What Is Your Bent?
A popular proverb typically understood in the context of parenting says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not stray from it.” (Prov 22:6) To properly understand this verse, we should see this as a mandate for parents to understand their children, their personalities, gifts, strengths and passions and guide them toward living them out.
Dan Miller suggests that this process shouldn’t end when children leave the home, but that adults should continue to pursue meaningful work based on how God has designed them. In the area of career choices, gaining confidence will come from looking within, understanding who we are, our personalities, passions, desires and abilities.
When you begin to understand how you are designed, then you can begin to answer questions like:
Q. What do I really love to do? When I do it, time seems to stand still.
Q. How can my personality, gifts and strengths, passions & dreams contribute to the lives of others.
Q. What do others see me and encourage me to do?
Q. If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
Q. Do you think it’s possible to love your work? Why or why not?