Breaking Boredom: Job Seekers Jumping Ship for New Challenges in 2018, According to Korn Ferry Survey


- Respondents Say Networking is Best First Step in Job Search -
- Nearly Half Say They Didn’t Get a Job Because an Interviewer Didn’t Understand their Qualifications -

EDITOR’S NOTE: Survey results at bottom of release

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4, 2018 — No longer content with a passionless career (which can make getting jury duty look great), nearly 5,000 professionals surveyed by Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) say that being bored and needing a challenge would be the top reason for seeking a new job in 2018.

When asked what their typical first step is when looking for a new job, the largest response was networking at 44 percent. The vast majority (89 percent) said networking at every point in their career is key, not just when they are in job search mode.

“Networking is a contact sport and really the most critical part of a job search -- but many people don’t do it well,” said Gary D. Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and author of the upcoming book, Lose the Resume, Land the Job., which will be available in mid-February.

“The truth is, networking is not about you—actually, it’s the opposite. Networking is about relationship-building, and relationships are not one-way streets,” said Burnison. “The best approach is to make networking a natural part of ongoing interactions with people, by focusing first on how you can help them.”

In Burnison’s book, he outlines common mistakes made by job seekers in all industries and levels, from new grads to CEOs, including putting too much focus on their resumes.

“Many job searchers spend an inordinate amount of time perfecting a resume, but that alone won’t land them the job,” said Burnison. “Given that an average of 250 resumes are received for every corporate job opening, blindly sending out resumes is patently passive and illogical.”

While 23 percent of respondents said updating their resume is their first step to landing a new role,19 percent said their first step is taking an inventory of what kind of job would make them the happiest.

“Long before job seekers look ‘out there’ for a job, they need to begin inward—with who they are and what they have to offer,” said Burnison. “With this clear understanding, candidates can target their search to where they will be most satisfied and make the greatest contribution.”

The survey also highlights the role of the interviewer in a job search. More than half (53 percent) of respondents said that people who interviewed them for a job were only “somewhat prepared,” “ill-prepared” or “very ill-prepared,” and nearly half (46 percent) said they were turned down for a job because the interviewer did not take the time to fully understand their qualifications.

There is some good news in the survey about how authentic job candidates are during the process. Only 7 percent said they portrayed themselves as different than they actually were with the hope of landing a role.

“During each part of the job seeking process and throughout their career, people need to understand how they ACT – an acronym that means being authentic, creating a connection and giving prospective bosses and colleagues a taste of who they are, what they do and the contributions they can make,” said Burnison.

About the Survey

The survey of 4,900 professionals took place in December 2017.

Survey results

If you are planning on looking for a new job in 2018, what is the top reason?

I’m bored, need new challenge - 33 percent
Culture doesn’t fit with me/my values - 24 percent
I have either lost my job or expect that I will - 21 percent
Higher salary - 19 percent
Company politics - 3 percent

When you consider looking for a new job, what is your typical first step?

Professional networking - 44 percent
Updating my resume - 23 percent
Taking inventory on what kind of job would make me the happiest - 19 percent
Reviewing online job postings - 12 percent
Social media activity - 2 percent

When interviewing for a job, on average, how well-prepared are the interviewers?

Very well prepared - 47 percent
Somewhat prepared - 47 percent
Somewhat ill prepared - 5 percent
Very ill prepared - 1 percent

If you've not been offered a job, have you ever felt like it was because the interviewer didn't take time to understand your qualifications?

Yes - 46 percent
No - 54 percent

During a job interview, have you ever tried to portray yourself as different from what you actually are in hopes of landing the role?

Yes - 7 percent
No - 93 percent

At what periods in your career is it most important to network?

All of the time - 89 percent
When I have a job but am considering other options - 7 percent
When I am out of work and looking for a new job - 3 percent
After college graduation - 1 percent

What is the top way you network?

LinkedIn - 31 percent
Networking events - 9 percent
Reconnecting with current and former friends/colleagues - 33 percent
Asking current friends/colleagues to introduce me to others in their network - 27 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help companies design their organization – the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. We also help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. Our approximately 7,000 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries.

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