2021 was a year of upheaval, both in our private and professional lives. ‘The Great Resignation’ made us rack our brains about the future, the relevance of medical certificates was questioned, and we definitely know now that virtual coffee breaks and office gossip don’t mix well. But what lies ahead of us and our jobs in 2022? Professor Sofie Jacobs surveyed, together with House of HR, 1.600, respondents from Belgium and the Netherlands about their career choices and job satisfaction and distilled 5 professional resolutions from this.
- Struggling to find balance? Ask advice from your older coworkers or find yourself a mentor. 45% of those surveyed currently fails to strike a balance between job satisfaction, mental health and productivity–but this number clearly increases with age and work experience. So your older coworkers have a wealth of experience and knowledge in achieving work-life balance and can help you on your way.
- Feeling unhappy at work? Dare to take the plunge this year. Respondents who have changed jobs at least once, have not only achieved a significantly better work-life balance but also more financial security and get a bigger positive impact from their job. In this way, choosing a new job can definitely equal choosing happiness–which is always worthwhile.
- … But don’t take the job hopping too far either: after all, you need to settle down at some point or other. In fact, data show that mental health is relatively lower in case of very high job mobility (changing jobs 10 times or more) compared to people who, for instance, switch careers 3 to 5 times.
- Listen to your ‘calling’, even though it means earning less... Have you been dreaming for years now about that one job that may come with less income or security? Maybe 2022 will be your year. Respondents who see their job as their special mission, claim they experience a higher degree of mental health and job satisfaction compared to those who see their job merely as a source of income or status. So, you do get a lot in return.
- Give your coworkers more positive feedback when they’re doing a good job–and yes, that does include your supervisor. 8 out of 10 respondents say they value positive work relationships, including among other things receiving positive feedback. And yet, only 14% actually gets a well-deserved compliment from time to time. Surely, we can do better in 2022, right?
Having a career mobility strategy and continuously upgrading your skills are key. Flemish careers are still largely characterized by stability–average job seniority is no less than 11 years. This is not such a bad thing in itself, but it may cause problems for vulnerable groups in the job market. For example, if their employability or competencies are no longer being developed. Thus, you can get stuck in a function and deny yourself other options. And if there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it is that agility is an enormous asset when the world around you is becoming more and more unpredictable.