Main Motivation for Looking for a New Job

Most professionals say boredom and bad culture are reasons for looking

As the job continues to sizzle at what economists call “full employment,” many professionals report that their primary motivation for looking for a new job is feeling bored with their current job and wanting a new challenge, according to the results of a survey by executive search firm Korn Ferry.

The survey of 4,900 professionals was conducted at the end of 2017. When those respondents who said they are planning to look for a new job were asked to identify their top reason for jumping ship, the survey found that:

  • 33% said they are bored with their current job and need a new challenge,
  • 24% said the culture at their current company does not align with their values,
  • 21% indicated they have either lost their job or expect to lose their job, and
  • 19% said they are hoping to get a higher salary.

The vast majority (89%) of the professionals surveyed said they believe networking is important during every period of their career, and not just when they are in job search mode. By contrast, a mere 7% of respondents said they see networking as important only when they have a job but are considering other options, and just 3% said they believe networking is essential only when they are out of work and looking for a job.

When respondents were asked what their usual first step is when searching for a new job, the top response was networking, cited by 44%. Another 23% of respondents said updating their resume is their typical first step toward landing a new position, while 19% indicated that they start their search by taking an inventory of what kind of job would make them the happiest. Smaller shares said their usual first step when looking for a new job is reviewing the online job postings (12%) or engaging in social media activity (2%).

The professionals surveyed were also asked to name the top strategy they use to network:

  • One-third (33%) of respondents said they seek to reconnect with current and former friends/colleagues,
  • 31% reported using LinkedIn,
  • 27% said they ask current friends or colleagues to introduce them to others in their network, and
  • 9% indicated that they attend networking events.

When asked about their job search history, 53% of respondents described their past interviewers as, on average, only somewhat to very ill-prepared. Moreover, 46% reported that they had been turned down for a job because the interviewer did not take the time to fully understand their qualifications.

If you intend to make a job change, please feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile – I would be happy to connect you with any of my connections (I spent many years in the technology and digital media field). I would also be willing to review your resume and LinkedIn profile as a second set of eyes (I’ve been in your position at times over my career).  Finally – and most importantly – make sure you let me know when you start your new job so that I may help you evaluate a 401(k) roll-over from your past employer.