The ten-year career itch: When, where, and why employees choose a career move

The days of a career for life are long gone, with many employees looking to move into a different sector, according to new research. 

Page Group’s recent Page Pulse report reveals 31 is the age most employees are likely to switch path, after approximately a decade in the workplace. 

26% of employees are considering a career change in the not-too-distant future, according to the survey of 5,000 employed workers. Meanwhile, some 44% have already made the leap into something new. But what does this mean for UK businesses?

What is motivating employees to make a move?

1 in 3 said they wanted to pursue a career which offered better opportunities to increase their earnings, while 32% wanted to be in a role they felt more passionate about. For 19%, the key motivation was an improved work-life balance, and 15% had chosen to change their direction after a redundancy. 

Healthcare and education were the most desirable sectors to move into. 11% of career changers chose healthcare as their destination, while another 11% chose education. IT was the third most popular sector, with 6%. Hospitality and leisure, wholesale, retail and franchising, and financial services and banking were also common choices, with 5% apiece.

For workers still planning to make a career change, the average time frame for planning a career move is 13 months.

Upskilling and further education is often required

For those who made a successful career switch, the most popular route was through online courses (25%), while many workers went back to university (14%). Of those who went through further training, 42% self-funded their studies, 27% received government funding, and 21% had their training funded through their employer.

However, 13% of those surveyed reported the skills and experience they already had were transferable to their new sector or job function.

Temping, interim roles, and freelancing popular among career changers

These types of roles can help professionals to build experience in their chosen field before applying for permanent roles. They can also provide a financial boost while career changers return to education in order to upskill. 

The survey found 54% would either consider this type of position, or indeed have already taken on a temporary role to support their career change. 

41% saw an interim role as a way to increase the flexibility of their schedule, while 27% said temp and contracting opportunities can build broad experience in different industries. 

What’s holding workers back from making a career change?

A significant hurdle for 23% of those surveyed was a lack of confidence, while 20% were unsure if they already had the right skills to facilitate the move.

Workplace trends 

When it comes to moving roles more generally, 31% of workers would consider returning to a role at a previous employer, while 13% have already done so.

12% of these ‘boomerang workers’ made the move back to an old employer in order to work closer to home, whilst 9% felt like going back to a past employer was a safe move. 

What’s next? 

If you’re looking to hire fresh talent, Michael Page can help. Our recruitment consultants place talented professionals across a wide range of sectors in the UK, from business support and finance to sales and marketing

For more bespoke advice on how Page Personnel can help your business, request a call back today. 

Want to know more about what top talent want from their employers? Download our latest Talent Trends where our data reveals a complete job market transformation. Employers must rethink and recalibrate their approach to retention in line with this changing workforce so make sure you’re in the know. 

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