Problems with salary negotiations? Workplace politics? Sunday scaries? (Yes, the struggle is real.) If any of these things are a problem for you, don’t worry—at least in the sense that you’re not alone.
These are among the top 10 challenges that employees in the United States are facing right now, based on new research from LinkedIn (MSFT).
Here’s a look at the top 10 list:
- Finding a work-life balance (38%)
- Managing workloads (31%)
- Dealing with coworkers (26%)
- Workplace politics (25%)
- Dealing with managers (23%)
- Growing their careers (22%)
- Being passionate about what they do (19%)
- Not having somebody to turn to for help (16%)
- Equal pay and negotiating salaries (15%)
- Answering all of their emails (13%)
Beyond just this snapshot, one of the common themes among LinkedIn’s findings is how much trouble employees—especially younger professionals in the workplace—have trouble asking for help at work, whether it be fear of feeling or looking incompetent. Approximately 84% of professionals surveyed said they have needed help at some point in their career. Naturally, as younger employees have more room to grown and more to learn, these results are a bit higher for Millennials (85%) and Generation Z (96%). (As a reference, Pew Research defines Millennials to be born between 1981 and 1996, thereafter followed by Generation Z.)
Yet one in three employees (35%) overall admitted they’re afraid to ask for help at work, and as much as 60% of employees regret not asking for help at those times. Such anxiety can result in overworking and possibly loss of productivity from exhaustion. At least a third of professionals surveyed said they’d rather work an extra six hours per week than ask for help in fear of looking weak or less knowledgable.
Getting bogged down by these fears (whether fabricated internally or justified by a real threat in a given workplace) can have repercussions over both life outside of work and the future of one’s career.
A few new terms have popped up in recent years to address some of these, starting with “Sunday scaries,” which is typically the anxiety one feels on a Sunday night before restarting the work week (and all that goes with it) the following Monday morning. Roughly 80% of professionals have admitted to experiencing the “Sunday scaries,” and those figures are much higher for Millennials and Gen Z at 91% and 94%, respectively.
In the long-term, there’s not just FOMO (“fear of missing out”) but also FOBO (“fear of better options“). Perhaps partly fear of change (or even fear of commitment to something new), 68% of respondents lamented feeling there might be better career options out there for them, but that they didn’t look for or try hard enough to make the jump. Some causes for FOBO include staying at a company for an extended number of years, dealing with salary negotiations, and experiencing major life moments outside of work.
While all of this might sound dreary and bleak, LinkedIn—being a professional social network dedicated to jobs and careers—is doling out some advice with hopes of changing these figures.
Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn, suggests looking at the fall as a sort of back-to-school season for workplace employees as well, a time to refresh, start over, and set new goals. This is because, according to LinkedIn research, December is the month professionals feel most overwhelmed at work. Thus, 56% of people have been found to make smaller positive lifestyle changes before the holiday season begins, and 69% of them said small adjustments made in the fall are easier to achieve than New Year’s resolutions.
Decembrele also stresses asking for help at work when needed, citing that the majority of professionals (43%) have attributed growing their careers to asking for assistance. This can be easier said than done, of course, especially when taking some of the aforementioned issues and top 10 list of workplace challenges into consideration.
But employees don’t only have to look to their bosses or colleagues for help. When it comes to looking for a new opportunity or job, for example, LinkedIn says about 40% of job seekers are most likely to reach out to family (40%), and younger employees (35% of Gen Z) especially rely on online communities.
Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of LinkedIn between August 8 and 22, 2018, the survey results are based upon responses from 1,017 employees age 18 and over who are employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed across the United States.