The Results Are In: Only 7% Say Career Path Led Where They Envisioned

Concept of confused business with different directionsIn July, we asked our readers how different their career path has been from what they envisioned,and only 7% say they are exactly where they thought they’d be. In stark contrast, the vast majority of respondents said their career path has led them somewhere completely different than what they envisioned.

The rest of the results are as follows:

  • I am in a different industry than I thought, but doing what I originally envisioned – 15%
  • My current job isn’t what I went to school for, but my skills transferred – 12%
  • I’m in the industry I imagined, but doing something completely different – 5%

Another 5% of respondents selected the “Other” option and submitted their own thoughts on the question, including:

  • I’m doing what I was trained to do, but it’s much better than ever envisioned!
  • It took a while, but I’ve finally arrived.
  • It has taken a long time to get where I am, but still not quite where I want to be yet.
  • I didn’t anticipate that I would be in college at this age, yet I have new hope.

What’s Your Dream Job?
Everyone, at one time or another, has indulged in a day dream or two about what their dream job looks like. Whether it’s owning your own business, making the world a better place in the non-profit industry, or becoming a renowned artist, we all have our own vision of the perfect job.

A companion poll on Movin’ On Up, the Express Employment Professionals blog for job seekers and people early in their careers, asked readers what their dream job looks like. The poll provided some unique insight into what people want out of their future careers. According to the results:

  • 28% want challenging or meaningful work
  • 22% hope to be able to work from home
  • 17% value growth opportunities within their organization
  • 16% want to be a part of a friendly workplace
  • 6% say they are still figuring out what their dream job entails

If you’re struggling to achieve your dreams or aligning yourself with the career path you’ve always envisioned, it’s important to take some time to evaluate what factors are holding you back. Check out this Refresh Leadership article for some insight on some of the characteristics successful people share:

5 Characteristics of Successful People
–and a Few Key Questions You Should Ask Yourself

What does your dream job look like? Have you already achieved it? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. Your Career Path: Are You Now Where You Wanted to Be? – A Blue Ribbon Resume - August 17, 2016

    […] to a recent survey reported on by Express Employment’s Refresh Leadership, only about 7% of respondents say they’re currently where they thought their career path […]

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