Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happiness Is Different Things To Different People

It's always fun to see surveys that are taken by different organizations on the same subject. In this case, my colleague Robyn Greenspan, the Senior Editor of our bi-weekly newsletter the CareerSmart Advisor, made me aware of one conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association and reported in an article on Some interesting stuff. Always is when they are asking people how they feel about the jobs they're in versus the ones they think they want.

In this case, 60% of the 1,000 IT types who responded indicated they were looking for new jobs, and if you believe the numbers, 80% of those who said they were looking, considered their searches "very active."

I guess with the economy still chugging along at a decent pace, it shouldn't be too surprising that folks are looking. Indeed, our own survey, which includes a much broader spectrum of functions, including IT, indicated that 53% were dissatisfied with their current gigs, and 72% were ready to put their money where their mouth was - i.e. planned to bail within 6 months.

What has interested me in such surveys over time is what appears might be a shift from money always being the prime motivator on both ends of the "why" people want to make a change. Time was when people left it was because they wanted to make more money, and when they took another job is was money that topped the list.

Not that the world has turned completely idealistic. Money still "talks" as they say, and in the CTIA survey it was the top reason (73% said money was the driver motivating them to look) but there was a substantial percentage (58%) who cited "looking for a new challenge" as the prime factor. Considering this survey was focused on the IT world, I guess the results might not be too surprising in the sense that the conventional wisdom has always indicated that in the IT world, it has always been about "challenge" and money.

In our own survey,The Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, however, and as I said, it covered a much broader spectrum of executives, the numbers came out quite differently. Specifically, the reasons given for expecting to make a change within the next 6 months were:

Personal Reasons: 30% (limited opportunities; lack of challenge/personal growth)
External Factors: 26% (company/industry prospects not favorable; job security)
Atmosphere: 22% (differences with culture; boss not a good match)
Lifestyle: 11% (work/life balance; volume of business travel; commute)
Compensation: 11%

It was the first time that I had ever seen money that far downt the list.

Maybe Maslow was right, once you get to the point where you feel you can put food on the table other factors start to become strong enough to really start to influence behavior.

Things like 911 do too.

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