Blog, Stats

Career Change Statistics

  • 80% of people age 45+ consider changing careers; only 6% actually do.
  • Americans average 10-14 jobs between the ages of 18 and 34 and 3-5 career changes by the age of 38 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2008)
  • Only 2% of people surveyed claim to be working in the occupation they had planned when they were 18 Years old. Part of that is our limited idea of careers, but part of it is us…not knowing ourselves so we play pin the tail on the company
  • Reports of empirical data specific to the job-hopping tendencies of MBAs, conducted for cohorts of MBAs graduating in the 1960s and 1970s, have produced less-than-convincing results. De Pasquale and Lange (1971) surveyed 5,022 MBA graduates from the 1965-68 classes of twelve leading business schools. They found that by the end of the third year out of the university, 34-37 percent of the graduates had departed from their original firms. This analysis, however, was conducted before occurrence of the largest increases in the popularity of the MBA and in the number of graduates. Conversely, an article in Fortune magazine reported a subsequent analysis of job change conducted by Louis, who studied 220 MBAs from the 1977 classes of Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC (Frakes, 1983). Within five years, two-thirds of the MBAs had left their first employer, and nearly 20 percent had switched twice.
  • A BLS news release published in June 2008 examined the number of jobs that people born in the years 1957 to 1964 held from age 18 to age 42. The title of the report is “Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey.” These younger baby boomers held an average of 10.8 jobs from ages 18 to 42. (In this report, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer.) On average, men held 10.7 jobs and women held 10.3 jobs. Both men and women held more jobs on average in their late teens and early twenties than they held in their mid thirties. From ages 18 to 42, some of these younger baby boomers held more jobs than average and others held fewer jobs. Twenty-three percent held 15 jobs or more, while 14% held zero to four jobs.

Blog, Stats

Job Satisfaction Statistics

  • Only 45% of US employees find their jobs satisfying and only a slim majority find their jobs interesting (Conference Board)
  • 60% intend to leave if the economy improves in 2010 (Right Management, Nov 2009)
  • Only 45% of workers say they are satisfied (33 percent) or extremely satisfied (12 percent) with their jobs.
  • Only 20% feel very passionate about their jobs; less than 15 percent agree that they feel strongly energized by their work
  • Only 31% (strongly or moderately) believe that their employer inspires the best in them.
  • More than half of all Americans are unhappy with their job, according to a 2008 report by The Conference Board. The decline in career satisfaction is indicative of all workers of all ages and demographics.
  • A 2007 Towers Perrin survey of nearly 90,000 employees worldwide, for instance, found that only 21% felt fully engaged at work and nearly 40% were disenchanted or disengaged. That negativity has a direct impact on the bottom line. Towers Perrin found that companies with low levels of employee engagement had a 33% annual decline in operating income and an 11% annual decline in earnings growth. Those with high engagement, on the other hand, reported a 19% increase in operating income and 28% growth in earnings per share.

Blog, Stats

New Statistics from the 5 O’Clock Club

A Five O’Clock Club survey of professionals, managers and executives clearly shows that job hunters get more meetings for the time spent through “direct contact” than through any other single technique.

“Networking” means using someone else’s name to get a meeting. “Direct Contact” means aggressively pursuing people whom you may have known in the past or people you have never met. These might include association members, or people identified on the Internet, through newspaper or magazine articles, or from library research. (For entry-level people, direct contact even includes going from one Human Resources office to another in an office center.) Here is an outline of the results of the survey:

  • Direct contact is the most time efficient way to get meetings. Surveyed job hunters spent 61% of their time networking, yet networking accounted for only 28% of their meetings. On the other hand, surveyed job hunters spent 11% of their time on direct contact, which resulted in 35% of their meetings. Says Bayer, “Networking is very time consuming. You have to find people who are willing to let you use their names. With direct contact, there is no middle man.”
  • People making a career continuation relied on direct contact even more than networking. People looking to stay in the same industry or field got 36% (over 1/3) of their meetings through direct contact and a little less than that by using someone else’s name to get a meeting. The job searchers contacted strangers, and got meetings because of their accomplishments – and their discipline in working follow-up phone calls.
  • Even career changers (53% of those surveyed) got 31% of their meetings through direct contact. Career changers often feel they should network to meet people in new fields or industries. However, most of their contacts are in their old field and networking into a new field is immensely time consuming. It must be done but direct contact can also result in meetings.
  • In this market, search firms accounted for only 11% of meetings; Newspaper ads and Company websites each accounted for 6%; On-line job boards accounted for 13%. “Everyone makes the mistake of placing too much importance on published openings,” says Bayer. “Contact organizations that don’t publicize openings now, and stay in touch with them. This increases the chance they’ll hire you, rather than post the job, when they need help.”

Blog, Graduate, Job Searching, Professional, Stats, Undergrad, Unemployed

50+ Job Search Statistics You Need To Know

Career change is a numbers game. If you want to play the game, start here! Read the statistics and then shape your job search strategy accordingly.

Successful Seekers

  1. Online Marketing (online resume posting) yields an 8 percent chance of success in uncovering the next opportunity. This rate matches those of 2003 when this strategy was still in its infancy.
  2. Referrals from within the organization (18 percent) and outside the organization (9 percent) are the most successful ways to land the opportunity.
  3. A blended strategy of using social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, helps identify referral opportunities.
  4. A downward trend in the overall effectiveness of recruiters since 2005 continues.
  5. For those earning more than $100,000, networking is clearly the most successful strategy, with 50 percent of candidates surfacing the opportunity in this way.
  6. Published openings, with a 44 percent effectiveness rating, are the most significant way of learning about an opportunity for those earning less than $60,000.
  7. For the 50-plus age group, networking continues to be more important with 46 percent of these respondents saying it led to their opportunities.
  8. As for gender effect, men in the sample were more likely to learn about opportunities through networking, while women were more successful with published openings

Time Allocation

According to a recent poll of 250 new members who earn $50,000 or more, most job seekers spend the majority of their time–over 50 percent of it–on two activities: searching for and applying for new positions. The numbers break down as follows:

  1. Searching for Positions Online 29.94%
  2. Applying to Positions 27.28%
  3. Networking 24.11%
  4. Researching Companies 12.89%
  5. Working with a Recruiter 5.56%

This allocation of time isn’t necessarily the most effect way to spend your time. I would prioritize the list like this

  1. Networking 35%
  2. Researching Companies 25%
  3. Applying to Positions 25%
  4. Searching for Positions Online 10%
  5. Working with a Recruiter 5%

Online Presence

  1. According to a study commissioned by Microsoft, 79 percent of employers now conduct an online search of applicants. Fully 70 percent say they have turned down applicants by what they found online. However, only 7 percent of job applicants were concerned about their online reputations.
  2. According to career coach Julie Jansen, 85% of hiring managers use social networking sites like LinkedIn to look for potential candidates who’ve been referred by other professionals.
  3. 31% of people have never conducted a search on their own name using a search engine to learn what is visible to potential employers. Are you one of them?

Job Competition

  1. More jobs were lost in 2008 than were created in the last 5 years. In 2009, more jobs were lost than existed in the  Great Depression.
  2. Talent Technology predicts its industry leading resume processing software, Resume Mirror, will process 80 million resumes in 2009.. This number is equivalent to 26% of the US population and equal to one resume for every second employed person
  3. One study reported that an average of 300 job seekers apply to any given job posting online.
  4. 4 million online posting per month

Company Concerns

  1. Human capital makes up 77% of total expenses
  2. 40% of job cuts announced are in the fall
  3. Only 18% of Fortune 100 companies send emails when the position is full (
  4. 35% of employers are now using your credit report history as a means of judging personal responsibility
    only an average of 36% of those job hunters interviewed regularly send thank-you notes while 75% of employers appreciate or expect the notes
  5. Over 90% of employers seek their assistant’s opinion when interviewing and making hiring decisions
    60% of large companies do salary planning in the fall


  1. Sending 40 – 50 resumes to targeted companies will be far more productive than sending resumes blindly to every job that pops up on a job board. Statistics show that only 1% of job seekers are successful using the latter method.


  1. Face-to-face meeting and telephone were most prevalent forms of networking. Email and online networking only account for 6%.
  2. Networking was the most effective method at 34% and applying online was second with a 26% success rate. Among networking approaches, referrals from within the organization (18%) and outside the organization (9%) are the most successful ways to land the opportunity. (Impact Group 2010)
  3. 26.7% of external hires made by organizations came from referrals, making it the number one external source of hiring for the participating firms.
  4. Above the $100K mark, networking accounts for 50% of surfaced opportunities. Published openings are the most significant way of learning about an opportunity for those earning less than $60K with 44% effectiveness. For those in between $60K & $100K, networking yielded 46% effectiveness and published openings accounted for 31% effectiveness
  5. For those 50+, networking has a 46% effectiveness and recruiters become LESS effective dropping from 13% to 5%
  6. Historically, men have become more likely to learn about opportunities through networking and women have been more successful with published openings

Opportunity Sources

  1. 46% of men and 39% of women find their jobs through networking. The hire your income, the more effective networking becomes.
  2. 22.3% of new hires were attributed to the employer’s website in particular (CareerXroads 2010).
  3. Whereas 44% of those earning less that $60K reported learning about the opportunity through a published opening, it only accounted for 31% for those in the income ranges of $60-100K and 29% for those earning $100K+
  4. 45% of your leads will come from using the internet as your lead generator—8% resume posting, 31% online published openings, 6% email/online networking
  5. Online resume posting only yields an 8% chance of success of uncovering the next opportunity (4% from employers and 4% from recruiters)
  6. Published openings effectiveness increased to 34%, in spite of a significant drop in online posting of 36%.
  7. Print ads account for 3% of openings found, versus 31% of online postings. Not surprisingly, employers’ posting are the most effective means to learn about online openings at 24% while recruiter online postings accounted for 7%.
  8. 46% of successful job seekers made a direct application to the employer. (26% applied online, 10% to hiring manager, and 10% to HR department)
  9. Executive recruiters account for 18% of the chance of connecting a candidate with an opportunity and 15% of successfully landing the opportunity. In 2005, they were responsible for 23% of connections, but they have become less and less effective. (Nobody can market you like you)

Other Stats

  1. 65-70% of jobs are gained through personal referrals or networking connections
  2. According to April 2008 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the length of the typical job search is 16.9 weeks
  3. 90% of recruiting firms do a Google search on candidates
  4. According to surveys cited by David Wessel in The Wall Street Journal, “The unemployed in the United States spend 40 minutes a day looking for work and 3 hours and 20 minutes a day watching TV.”
    the average job search in America now lasts 33 weeks, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from April 2010. Thirty-three weeks — more than 8 months — is the longest it has taken Americans to find work in the history of this monthly survey, which dates to 1948.
  5. Major Job boards boast a measly 1 to 4% average response rate. That’s a lot of resumes to send out just to hear nothing back!
  6. According to the Wall Street Journal, 90% of jobs are filled through employee referrals
  7. At the end of last year, LinkedIn had 33 million members, and there were signs many were stepping up their activity. The amount of time individuals spent online increased 22 percent since the start of the year and the number of recommendations soared 65 percent, according to Kay Luo, a spokeswoman for LinkedIn. (
  8. From 2008 to 2009, the number of hiring managers using social networking websites to screen job seekers more than doubled from 22% to 45%, according to yearly surveys from CareerBuilder. Put another way, nearly one in two hiring managers uses social media to recruit or screen candidates for jobs today.
  9. More than a third of hiring managers (35%) immediately screened out candidates based on what they found on candidates’ social networking profiles. Only 18% of hiring managers polled by CareerBuilder last year said they were encouraged to hire a candidate due to his or her online presence.

Blog, Graduate, Professional, Stats, Undergrad

Generational Career Statistics


  • While the overall unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in June, it was 15.3 percent for those aged 20 to 24, compared with 7.8 percent for ages 35-44, 7.5 percent for ages 45-54 and 6.9 percent for those 55 and older.


  • The national unemployment rate for teens was 25.4 percent last month after hitting 27.6 percent in October – the highest rate since 1948, when the federal government began tracking the number of teens actively seeking work.


  • Young workers who start off in a recession generally begin in lower-ranking positions and have difficulty shifting into better jobs the first 15 years of their careers, according to a study that looked at the experience of workers who launched their careers in the early 1980s.
  • The average college student graduates with roughly $21,000 in federal loans. (The 2008 average for college students was $23,000, according to the College Board.)
  • College students graduating this month also face a very tight labor market. This year employers plan to make just 5 percent more job offers to graduates than in 2009 according to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
  • Just one out of four members of the Class of 2010 has a job waiting for them and their average starting salary dropped from 2009 by 1.7 percent to $47,673. That may sound like good money, but remember many college students enter the work force carrying more than $20,000 in debt. Often the debt can be well over $50,000.
  • 80% of college hires come from people who did internships
  • 30% of the 56,900 students surveyed said the market success of a company was a preferred attribute of an employer, up from 24% in 2009
  • Attractive and exciting products and services also became a higher priority for respondents, with 28% of them wanting that in an employer in 2010, compared with 21% in 2009
  • In 2009, 37% of respondents said high ethical standards were an important attribute in an employer, whereas 27% said the same in 2010. Only 32% of 2010 respondents said inspiring management was important, compared with 41% in 2009.

Baby Boomers

  • Baby boomers also are delaying their retirement, adding to the competition. A quarter of workers postponed their retirement in the past year, with 33 percent of workers now expecting to retire after 65, according to a retirement survey by The Employment Benefit Research Institute.

Blog, Stats, Unemployed

Unemployment Statistics


  • As of May 2009, the average unemployed person spent 22 and a half weeks without a job, up from 16 weeks and six days a year earlier. That’s one factor that helped push the nation’s unemployment rate up from 8.9 percent to 9.4 percent last month. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).
  • “The average length of unemployment now is almost like six months, which is an all-time high, so the longer people are unemployed and the longer they go without being able to find a job, the more willing they are to accept a job that’s lower paying or for which they’re overqualified,” said economist Marisa Di Natale of Moody’s
  • Unemployed Americans’ hopes for finding work drop sharply as their length of unemployment increases, from 71% for those who have been unemployed less than a month to 36% among those unemployed for more than six months. One in four unemployed Americans have been actively looking for work for a year or more. (Gallup)

By Age Group

  • While the overall unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in June, it was 15.3 percent for those aged 20 to 24, compared with 7.8 percent for ages 35-44, 7.5 percent for ages 45-54 and 6.9 percent for those 55 and older.
  • The national unemployment rate for teens was 25.4 percent last month after hitting 27.6 percent in October – the highest rate since 1948, when the federal government began tracking the number of teens actively seeking work.

Time Allocation

According to August’s Academy of Management Journal’s research covering 233 unemployed job seekers on a daily basis for three weeks here is how people spend their tim:

  • 3.87 percent job hunt full-time, or seven to nine hours.
  • 13.3 percent slog it out for five to seven hours.
  • 34.34 percent spend three to five hours.
  • 21.89 percent invest two to three hours.
  • 16.74 percent must have something else to do for all but one to two hours.
  • 5.15 percent hunt part-time, at an hour or less.
  • (Total doesn’t add to 100 percent because of non-response.)


  • People who lost a job because of a business closure had a 54 percent higher chance of reporting fair or poor health shortly thereafter, and those who didn’t have health problems were 83 percent more likely to acquire one after losing a job through no fault of their own, according to a study published in the May 2009 issue of the journal Demography. The new health problems people developed were typically cardiovascular disease, arthritis and psychological conditions, said study author Kate Strully, assistant professor of sociology and epidemiology at the State University of New York at Albany.

Blog, Books, Career Visioning, Professional, Stats, Tools

Well-Being by Tom Rath

Did you know that most heart attacks occur on Monday? Wonder why? It’s because of work. Our career well-being has a huge impact on every other aspect of our well-being. I knew this intuitively, but I didn’t have statistical evidence until I read Well Being by Tom Rath, who also authored StrengthsFidner 2.0 which is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a quick read that goes through the five essential elements of well-being which include: career, social, financial, physical, and community.

Some interesting statistics from the book include:
– people who are well in career are twice as likely to be well in other 4 ares
– engagement chart on page 20
– bad boss leads to 24% increase in likelihood of heart problems
– George Gallup (The Secrets of a Long Life) interviewed men who live to be over 90 and average retire age was 80, 93% great satisfaction from career, and 83% having fun
– Most people perceive their occupation as being a detriment to their overall wellbeing. Yet when we started to look back through Gallup’s historical research on this topic, Jim uncovered a book and research study that was written in 1960 by Dr. George Gallup called The Secrets of a Long Life. Dr. Gallup studied people who lived to be 95 years and older, and one of the things they had in common is the fact that they didn’t retire at age 55 or 60 — they kept working until they were 85 or 90 years old. And they said they had fun doing what they were doing in their jobs every day.

Find out more about the book here when you get a chance.