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Unsatisfied professionals are staying put, Accenture reports

Saturday, March 10, 2012  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Despite job dissatisfaction, most business professionals do not plan to leave their current employers, according to a survey by NEW sponsor Accenture, released as part of the organization’s 2012 celebration of International Women’s Day.

More than half of the 3,900 women (57 percent) and men (54 percent) surveyed said they are dissatisfied with their jobs. Reasons for their dissatisfaction are similar for women and men: 36 percent of both groups feel they are underpaid; 23 percent of both groups believe their "hours are too long or my workload is too heavy.” Twenty-one percent of women and 25 percent of men "feel trapped” in their position.

Despite this dissatisfaction, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of the respondents in 31 countries said they do not plan to leave their current employers, with nearly the same number (64 percent) citing flexible work arrangements as the reason for staying put. Indeed, the majority (59 percent) of respondents reported having some type of flexible work schedule, and 44 percent of this group said they have used flexible work options for more than three years.

When asked about the greatest barrier to their career advancement, respondents cited a lack of opportunity or a clear career path twice as often as they cited family responsibilities (42 percent vs. 20 percent). More men than women (45 percent vs. 39 percent) cite a lack of opportunities as the greatest barrier. More women than men (23 percent vs. 17 percent) cite family responsibilities. However, significantly more women than men (46 percent vs. 35 percent) believe that their career growth has slowed since becoming a parent.

As a group, respondents said they are taking a variety of steps to actively manage their careers, including accepting a different role or responsibility (58 percent), receiving more education or training (46 percent) and working longer hours (36 percent).
 
Approximately one-third of respondents reported they get career advice from colleagues or family (cited by 35 percent and 32 percent of respondents, respectively). More than three-fourths said the gender of the person giving career advice does not matter to them.

"Despite current challenges, employees are still striving for success — and energized, engaged employees remain a competitive advantage,” said Adrian Laitha, Accenture's chief leadership officer. "Since the majority of today’s professionals are not job hunting, leading companies must capitalize on this moment in time to equip their people with clearly defined career paths that include innovative training, leadership development and opportunities for advancement.”


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