'Making a difference' tops New Year's work resolutions

06 January 2020 Consulting.us

‘Making a difference’ was the top New Year’s work resolution, according to a Korn Ferry survey of 645 professionals. Forty-one percent said creating an impact or making a difference was at the top of their work resolution wish list, outstripping the desire for a promotion or better pay.

Thirty-one percent listed ‘getting a new job’ as their top resolution, followed by getting a raise (8%), a better work-life balance (8%), learning more (7%), and getting a promotion (5%).

Making a difference was listed as the most difficult resolution to achieve, alongside getting a promotion, at 24%. Achieving a better work-life balance and getting a raise were identified by approximately 20% as the hardest work resolutions to achieve.

Cultural mismatch was identified by professionals as the top reason for a new job search in 2020, at 38%. The second most popular reason was being bored/needing a new challenge (23%), followed by the desire for a higher salary (17%).

'Making a difference' tops New Year's work resolutions

When asked what work resolution would best allow them to advance at their employer, 28% picked ‘getting assigned to more challenging, high-profile projects.’ The next most popular choices were receiving more professional development opportunities (22%) and getting a different boss (19%).

“A lot is being written about change-weary professionals constantly navigating through bewildering complexity. This survey clearly shows that many professionals are not only up for a challenge, but value it as a way to demonstrate they are making a difference in the world,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry global solution leader, leadership development. “In fact, above pay and promotion, you see professionals exhibiting a growth mindset, seeking to learn and grow.”

More than half (57%) of respondents said they were planning on asking for a raise in 2020. For the 43% that said they weren’t planning on asking for a raise, the top reason was because their organization rarely gives raises (45%). The next most common reason was because they just received a raise (27%), or because they were afraid they’d be turned down or it would be awkward (11%).

Professionals were, overall, very optimistic about their resolve: 93% said that if they made a work-related New Year’s resolution, they would be able to keep it.


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