Survey: 22% of Americans say they ‘fell’ into their job instead of picking it

Much like sauntering through life in autopilot mode, startling new findings from LinkedIn on what they call  “career sleepwalking” show that 22% of Americans report “that they ‘fell’ into their job” instead of picking it themselves. Furthermore, the research found that “the average American has” had the same position for 9.88 years, and this number is 13.91 years among those who are older than 55.

LinkedIn polled a group of more than 2,000 American professionals, with Generation Z classified as people who are younger than 24.

What keeps American workers going

Here’s what people say “motivates” them — clearly, cash is king.

  • Salary: 43%
  • Work-life balance: 40%
  • Opportunity to learn and grow: 22%
  • Making an impact: 18%

Here’s how Americans really feel about their careers

While 23% of Americans surveyed said that their lives feel like being “‘on a treadmill going nowhere,'” it seems like younger workers are actually itching to make big changes. More than one-fifth of people polled under age 24 said that they have held down a minimum of four full-time positions.

Eighty percent of people younger than 24 agreed that they would think about changing their careers in terms of the “function or industry.” This is also echoed in the finding that the “younger generation is more than 3x more likely to change jobs” than Baby Boomers.

But this data point is the real kicker: 47% of people surveyed within the ages of 35 and 44 — with more than 10 years of working experience under their belts — say they don’t know “what their career path should look like.”