Has your career stalled during the pandemic? 38% of workers say they feel stuck in their careers since the pandemic began, according to a new Robert Half Survey.

Regional Central Jersey Vice President Dora Onyschak said that number actually jumps to 66% for Gen-Z professionals, aged 18 to 24.

About 47% of those aged 25 to 40 feel stuck in their jobs as well as 27% of those 41 to 54 and 21% of those 55 and older.

What has transpired because of the pandemic is that these younger people don't have anywhere to move. They don't have that career progression that they so anxiously want, said Onyschak.

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"I would say careers have taken a hit in different ways for different people. One, of course, is the salary growth, career advancement, ability to grow their professional network as well as skills development," said Onyschak.

About 32% who experience a shift in feelings toward work due to the pandemic want to pursue a more meaningful and fulfilling job. She said with people being home with their families, balancing work and life, has reset some people's priorities.

Managers need to worry about staff retention

The survey also finds that 59% of senior managers have put off promotions due to the pandemic, which has caused over 78% of them to be worried about staff retentions, due to the lack of promotions.

Onyschak said regardless of what market they're in, employees want to be recognized for their work. So managers need to really think about staff retention. Think about ways in which top performers can be paid well, make sure to keep them engaged and loyal to their organization.

The pay scale has to make sense, which may not be feasible right now given the pandemic. She said managers must have conversations with employees, letting them they're valued. While monetarily there may not be anything that can be done right now, there may be other options.

Onyschak said managers should talk with workers about career paths, adding on responsibilities and looking at salary increases down the road.

Connect with employees and keep a pulse on their well-being. Do that with surveys, regular staff meetings, talking about what's impacting their day, finding out how they feel about their role and organization. Always reinforce their importance and that what they're doing in the organization, matters.

She said a big mistake leaders make is assuming employees are happy and that they're not going anywhere. Employers must have real conversations with employees and look for signs of unhappiness like being late to the office, missing deadlines and having personality shifts.

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