Positive views of current job and past career changes

The majority of Czechs are happy with their jobs, according to new research. However, more than three-quarters do not work in a job that really suits them, according to the results of an online survey conducted in 2013. Many respondents’ ideal job would mean them running their own business, a dream unrealised for many mainly due to the high risks of being self-employed. Those who have made a significant change in their career, voluntarily or involuntarily, are happy with the outcome.

Background

An online survey in 2013 gathered information in the Czech Republic on professional career paths, aspirations and ‘career restarts’. The survey was carried out by marketing agency STEM/MARK. The 500 questionnaires collected produced a research sample of 324 people all in employment, both employees and self-employed, and aged 20 to 65. The sample was filtered in order to address questions about professional career paths.

High levels of job satisfaction

The survey data revealed that one third of interviewees were satisfied with their careers. This compared with only 8.9% who had negative feelings about their careers. The higher the level of education of the respondents, the more positive was their evaluation of their career (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Satisfaction with job by educational attainment

Figure 1: Satisfaction with job by educational attainment

Notes: The number of people with elementary level education in the survey sample was too low to be taken into consideration.

SLE = school-leaving examination

Source: STEM/MARK 2013

The generally positive attitude Czech workers had to their careers was also reflected in the evaluation of their current job. Only 10.5% of respondents said that they ‘loved’ their jobs, but 71% said that they liked their jobs and usually enjoyed them. Among respondents with tertiary education, the figure for those who loved their job was 19.3%. It rose to 26.2% among the self-employed.

Profile of the ideal job

The majority of interviewees reported that they had a clear idea of the profession they wanted to follow before they reached the age of 30. Of these, 23.5% said they were doing their ideal job. However, 37.7% of respondents still did not know what their ideal profession was.

Responses to questions about the ‘ideal job’ reveal that the majority of people wished – if completely free to choose any profession – to run their own businesses in a different field. To work independently appears to be the unfulfilled dream of the majority of Czech workers.

The preferred trades or professions interviewees would choose if they could do any job included:

  • being a driver;
  • working in technical and engineering professions;
  • being a farmer, breeder or producer of natural products;
  • owning a restaurant, hotel or other facility in the accommodation and catering field.

The main obstacles to attaining the ‘ideal job’, said respondents, were a certain degree of uncertainty and risk, and a lack of the necessary skills and qualifications (Figure 2).

Figure 2: ‘Why do you not do the job that you would most enjoy?’

Figure 2: ‘Why do you not do the job that you would most enjoy?’

Note: Multiple choice question

Source: STEM/MARK 2013

Changes have positive outcomes

The survey found that 55.6% of respondents had already made a significant change in their professional career path, while a further 15.7% were considering a change. The data showed 39.4% were considering moving to a completely different type of job and a further 17.2% wanted to start their own businesses.

For many, the career change was not always voluntary. For 36.1%, the change was the result of factors they could not influence. Of those, 46.2% said they had changed their career because of redundancy. However, 53.3% of those who had made a significant professional change did so voluntarily, motivated by:

  • a good opportunity (43.8%);
  • a higher salary in the new job (37.5%);
  • a change in attitudes, priorities and values (25%).

The data further revealed that those most likely to change their careers were those with lower levels of educational attainment (Figure 3). These are often the people who are most vulnerable in the labour market rather than more highly-qualified workers:

Figure 3: ‘Have you ever changed your profession/career in any significant way?’, responses by educational attainment

Figure 3: ‘Have you ever changed your profession/career in any significant way?’, responses by educational attainment

Notes: The number of people with elementary level education in the survey sample was too low to be taken into consideration.

SLE = school-leaving examination

Source: STEM/MARK 2013

Whether the change was voluntary or not, only 4% of those who had changed their jobs said they were dissatisfied with the result. Almost half of the respondents (48.9%) considered the change to be a positive step in their career path. The remainder were ambivalent and were as satisfied with their working conditions as they had been before they made the change.

Reference

Tuček, J. (2013), Jak ‘restartujeme’ [How we ‘restart’], presentation by STEM/MARK.

Štěpánka Lehmann, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA)

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