SOURCE: Kenexa


October 10, 2011 14:00 ET

Kenexa Survey Asks "Are You in Your Dream Job?"

Only 16 Percent of Respondents Say Childhood Aspirations Are Fulfilled

WAYNE, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 10, 2011) - As Kenexa World Conference -- the Conference of Grown-Up Dreams, turning business dreams into reality -- opens today at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., the company reflects on whether most adults are in their dream jobs. In anticipation of the annual conference, which brings together Kenexa's customers, employees, partners, and analysts, a survey of 1,100 people was conducted by its compensation business, While nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they are passionate about their current careers, the vast majority of those surveyed admitted that they didn't end up following their dreams.

Kenexa Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Geisert, commented, "Children are asked what they want to be when they grow up before they even start school. Doctor, teacher, astronaut, and rock star: each role seems attainable when you're 5, 10 or even 15. Our survey uncovered that when it comes to turning these dreams into reality, only 16 percent are living the dream. But even though childhood dream jobs are often put on the back-burner, they never really fade away. Sixty percent of respondents said they wish they could still fulfill their dream."

Most employers know that passionate workers are happier, productive, more engaged and less likely to look elsewhere for employment opportunities. Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said it is either very important or somewhat important to work for a company that helps them achieve hopes and dreams. In sharp contrast, only 19 percent of the respondents gave their employers high marks for doing a good job of fostering employees' passions.

Twenty-two percent of those respondents age 18-25 said they are working a dream job. That number drops to 14 percent for those ages 26-35 and drops even further -- to 12 percent -- for those ages 36-45. Also, when questioned about career passion, 71 percent of younger workers said they are currently working a job that genuinely excites them but for people between the ages of 46-55, that number drops to 53 percent.

"I got married and had a family and had to put food on the table," said a Human Resource specialist who originally dreamt of being a doctor. "But now it's too late and too expensive to go back to school."

One woman, who works as an interior designer, wanted to be an actress. She said, "I was always a builder and inventor, and was also dramatic and created stories. In a way, I am still living my dream by creating."

When asked what companies can do to better promote hidden passions, the most common answers were "communicate with employees" and "provide paid time off to let people pursue their dreams."

Presenting at Kenexa World Conference are three keynote speakers who have pursued their dreams: Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; former Navy Commander Mike Abrashoff; and Billy Beane, Vice President and General Manager of the Oakland A's (now showcased in the popular current movie "Moneyball" starring Brad Pitt).

Schmidt's presentation will be streamed live from Kenexa World Conference on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 from 11:15 - 12:15 p.m. and can be accessed on Google's YouTube channel.

Geisert commented, "What better place for dreams to come true than Walt Disney World, where our guests can learn from these renowned speakers how to create workplace environments that reward dreams as well as performance."

More information about Kenexa World Conference can be accessed at

About Kenexa

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) helps drive HR and business outcomes through its unique combination of technology, content and services. Enabling organizations to optimize their workforces since 1987, Kenexa's integrated talent acquisition and talent management solutions have touched the lives of more than 110 million people.

Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at Follow Kenexa on Twitter: @kenexa.