Majority of Aussies made career changes during the pandemic

career shift

A new study, commissioned by leading career coach Kate Richardson and conducted by YouGov, reveals that a majority of Aussies moved jobs, switched industries, changed careers, or reduced their hours during the pandemic.

The Career Change Monitor Report shows that 51 per cent or 5.3 million Australians chose to alter their work arrangements over the last two years.

“The Great Resignation. The Great Reshuffle. The Big Quit. Whatever you choose to call it, experts have been predicting its arrival in Australia in the first part of 2022,” Richardson said. “This research reveals that half of Australian workers have already chosen to move jobs, switch industries, change careers or reduce their hours during the pandemic. Instead of seeing The Great Resignation as a one-off event, we need to see career change as an ongoing trend.”

The report also notes that men and women have approached the employment challenges of the pandemic differently, with women being more likely to have changed their career (21 per cent to 16 per cent), whereas men are more likely to have changed industry but remained in a similar role.

“Given females lost more jobs and hours during the pandemic than males, it’s not surprising that women were more likely to make bolder decisions and change their career,” Richardson said.

One in five Australian workers are considering making a career change in the next 12 months, according to the research, with those under 35 being more likely to be planning a shift. The likelihood of changing jobs gradually decreases with age: over 50 per cent of under 35 years changed jobs, 40 per cent of 35-49 years, and only 27 per cent of those aged 50+.

The report also reveals that blue-collar workers are twice as likely as white-collar workers to be considering a career change (24 per cent compared to 12 per cent), and this is being heavily driven by males.

“For all the talk of The Great Resignation being the domain of the young and the professional, blue-collar workers are also rethinking their career choices,” Richardon said. “They’re not waiting to be restructured out of a job. They’re recognising that getting on the front foot and looking at new career options is the best way to future proof their working life.”