Are You Engaged in Your Career

I’m in Toronto at the annual APICS International Conference and was able to attend a session with bestselling author Jason Jennings.  Jason’s presentation was excellent and included a number of insightful ideas about leadership.  One statistic jumped out to me when I heard it.

The statistic Jason quoted was that in studies, 73% of workers say they just show up to work.  They have no emotional attachment to their jobs.

This is an incredible stat.  Out of every four workers, three aren’t engaged.  They are doing their job but don’t have a true passion for their work.  This doesn’t make these employees failures or valueless.  They are making a contribution to their companies, but they are unconcerned about delivering superior results.

If you are seeking a job, you can expect a hiring managers to want candidates who have done more than just meet the minimum requirements.  They want people who will exceed expectations and go above and beyond the norm.


When we studied resumes a year ago, we found 57% of resumes either failed to include any accomplishments or listed only one or two.  The resume is the primary sales pitch that will land you an interview.  Despite this, nearly 60% of job seekers are saying they have accomplished very little in their careers that is noteworthy.

Most resumes list a ton of responsibilities.  They show what the job seeker should have done.  Listing responsibilities does not show what you did.

Roughly 40% of the resumes we studied showed 3 or more accomplishments.  Only 10% had 5 or more.  For a hiring manager looking for someone truly engaged in their career, with a passion for their job and a commitment to exceed expectations no matter what, who do you think will get hired?  Do you think it will be the 60% that have few or no accomplishments on their resume?  Or do you think the job seeker who shows a pattern of success throughout their career will garner more attention?

The answer is obvious.  Hiring managers want people who are successful and that will do more than just show up.

What You Can Do

On your resume, you need to show what you did, not what you were responsible for doing.  List accomplishments throughout your resume.  These can major accomplishments, recognized throughout the company, or they can be smaller accomplishments only recognized within your department.  The key is showing what you did beyond what is typical.

When you interview, be prepared to talk about your commitment to succeed with specific examples of what you have achieved.  In our economy, there are a lot of talented people on the job market.  The people who rise to the top will be the ones who best market their ability to deliver results.

In your career, you can be one of the 73% of people who show up, or you can be someone who is engaged and committed to their job far beyond normal.  If you choose the later, not only will your career be more successful, but your job search will be more successful as well.