SOURCE: Lee Hecht Harrison

December 16, 2014 10:21 ET

New Year, New Career? Study Finds Most Employees Are Ready for Career Change

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ--(Marketwired - December 16, 2014) - Nearly one in two (48%) employees believe they are ready right now for a career change, according to a survey by global talent mobility consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison. The study found that 13% are nearly ready and only 13% are not prepared at all.

Lee Hecht Harrison surveyed 404 employees via an online poll in November and asked: "How prepared are you to make a career change?" The respondents reported:

Ready right now: 48%

Nearly ready: 13%

Need development: 26%

Not prepared at all: 13%

"With job creation and wages on the rise, now is looking to many like a good time to find a new job," noted Jim Greenway, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales Effectiveness for Lee Hecht Harrison. "A New Year always brings a degree of optimism. However, employees need to meet opportunity with preparedness. An improving job market will increase worker mobility. Employees should reassess their outlook, align skills with gaps in the market or within their company, and prepare to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead." 

Greenway stated that for many workers, careers aren't planned, they just happen. "Life is too short to be in the wrong career. We spend so much time at work that it needs to be rewarding, stimulating… and I'd even go as far to say -- fun! Have a career plan that sets a vision for where you want to be and know the methods you'll use to get there. We coach workers to be proactive in managing their careers -- so that when an opportunity presents itself -- whether within your current organization or with another employer -- they're ready."

Lee Hecht Harrison recommends this four-step checklist to be prepared for a career change:

  • Know your options. Explore the job market to identify your career avenues. Then assess your strengths, interests and needs. Look for where market needs and your needs intersect.
  • Be searchable. Your social media profiles should describe the value you bring to a company and why you're unique. Include keywords and skills that recruiters will search for.
  • Always be networking. Since many jobs openings are never publicly advertised, an extensive and actively managed network is your most useful career resource. Make it a regular habit to share information and offer assistance.
  • Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile. The resume isn't dead yet. Give it a tune-up by updating with any new skills or qualifications you've acquired this year, new responsibilities added to your role, accomplishments achieved or awards received. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is consistent too.

As a final word of advice, Greenway recommends employees look to the New Year by setting clearly defined career goals. "Whether you want to develop a new skill, update lagging competencies, or expand and grow your network, be sure to document your goals so you have a clear line of sight for actively managing your career in the year ahead."

About Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH)

Lee Hecht Harrison ( is the global talent mobility leader. We connect people to jobs through innovative career transition services and help individuals improve performance through career and leadership development. LHH assists organizations in supporting restructuring efforts, developing leaders at all levels, engaging and retaining critical talent, and maintaining productivity through change -- helping organizations increase profitability by maximizing their return on investment in developing people, while assisting individuals to achieve their full potential.

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