Study says half of U.S. workforce feels they have a 'job,' not a 'career'

The Center for Career Development is located on the second floor of the Wilbur Cross Library. The CCD offers many resources to students looking for job opportunities, such as resume critiquing and career fairs. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

The Center for Career Development is located on the second floor of the Wilbur Cross Library. The CCD offers many resources to students looking for job opportunities, such as resume critiquing and career fairs. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, a human capital solutions company, more than half of U.S. workers feel they currently have a job, not a career. Additionally, 28 percent of workers claim they hate or only tolerate their job, the study said.

Nancy Bilmes, University of Connecticut Center for Career Development director, said she was not surprised about the study’s results. There are several ways students can fall into a career path they are passionate about, she added.

“Many people probably fell into [a job] without thought of what they want,” Bilmes said. “I often encourage students to get involved. That can be a job or activity on campus, taking on a leadership role or doing something off-campus or over the summer.”

Bilmes said she advises students to approach the center and other faculty members to network, and to do this early in their college career.

According to a Center for Career Development informational booklet, the center is located in the Wilbur Cross Building and offers a variety of services, including career coaching appointments, practice interviews and career fairs.

The booklet said the center encourages students to follow the UConn career engagement model, which highlights important elements in personal career development, such as reflect and explore possibilities, cultivate career capital and manage career development.

“When choosing a career, we want students to make an educated, planned decision,” Bilmes said.  

Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder chief human resources officer, said she has five tips to help workers land a new career.

“Customize your application and resume for the job, review your references, tell the truth, provide your [social media] profiles [and] prepare for the interview,” Haefner said.

Haefner said workers have more diverse employment options as the United States further increases its number of available jobs.

Ronny Heredia, a 2017 graduate of the UConn master’s in public administration program, said the Center for Career Development helped him prepare to apply for jobs. Since his graduation, he has been offered multiple jobs and has one more interview scheduled before he decides where his career will take him, he said.  

“They helped me develop my resume and cover letter writing skills, which I believe were essential for me when I was applying for jobs,” Heredia said. “My specific program also assisted in my career development by providing me the opportunity to apply for various internships in my field.”


Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at ashley.anglisano@uconn.edu.