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UK’s attitudes to switching jobs in 2022

Survey reveals the UK’s attitude towards switching jobs

Unexpected events can disrupt our normal routines forcing us to adjust how we work and live our lives, which may lead us to reassess our priorities and question what really matters. Unsurprisingly, the current pandemic has caused many employees to consider changing careers as we emerge from Coronavirus restrictions.

However, there is some reassuring news due to the widespread access to safe and effective vaccines, COVID-19 tests and treatments. With the reopening of more businesses, the British economy shows signs of recovering remarkably well in 2022 in a post-pandemic world.

But is this really the right time to change careers and make such a huge life changing decision?

Here at Moneypenny, we have conducted a survey* of 1,000 UK office workers aged 18 and over to establish their attitudes towards switching jobs post-pandemic according to demographics such as age, gender and region.

The UK planning on changing jobs during the pandemic

Our research revealed that 14% of those surveyed were planning to change their job before Covid-19 and have done so during the pandemic. However, 17% also answered they were planning to change their job before Covid-19, but had not done so during the pandemic.

Some 11% were not planning to change their job during the pandemic, but have found themselves in a new role.

If we explore this from an age point of view, the youngest age group (18 to 24 year olds) were most likely to say that they were planning to change their job before Covid-19 and 44% have done so.

More women than men answered that they wished to change their career before Covid-19 and have done so during the pandemic at 15% and 13% respectively.

Of all the cities that were explored in the survey, Coventry residents were most likely to say that they were planning to change their job before Covid-19 and have done so (38%). On the other hand, those in Brighton and Hove were most likely to plan to change their job before Covid-19, but have not done so (45%).

Why UK office workers didn’t end up changing their job during the pandemic despite planning to

The survey aimed to discover why some of those questioned didn’t end up changing their job during the pandemic, despite they planned to.

Over a half (51%) answered that they thought it was more secure to stay in their current job during Covid-19. Furthermore, 43% responded that they did not feel that the job market was secure and 39% answered it was simply due to Covid-19.

If we explore gender further, 47% of women compared to 54% of men, stated it would be more secure to stay in their current job during the pandemic and ultimately did not change their jobs. Additionally, 44% of women answered they did not feel the job market was secure in comparison to 41% of men. And finally, 33% of women responded it was simply due to Covid-19, compared to 45% of men.

New jobs

The poll also explored what UK office workers who have changed their job during the pandemic are doing now.

41% of those who changed job during the pandemic have taken another similar job with more career prospects. 23% have decided to take a break before changing jobs.

There were some big promotions too, with 22% saying they have taken a new job with a promotion and pay rise. However, the same percentage (22%) admitted taking a job that caused a demotion in order to grow within a new business.

Additionally, 21% have changed their working to part time, 19% have set up their own business. Finally, 14% have gone back to study and retrain.

Additionally, when we look at gender, only 17% of women have taken a job with a big promotion, compared to 30% of men.

The city to have answered the most that they have set up their own business was Sheffield at 29% and finally, the cities that have answered most in the survey that they have gone back to study and retrain were Belfast and Chelmsford at 50%.

With the pandemic restrictions lifted and living with Covid-19 as a part of everyday life, is the UK considering changing their job in the near future?

Over a third, 38% of UK employees said they are considering changing a job now, with 45% of those already in process of getting a new job or applying for a new job.

Furthermore, 37% of those changing a job now said they would stay in the same sector, 40% said they would move to a different sector and 23% simply don’t know.

Moreover, 59% responded in the survey that they are not looking to change jobs in the near future.

When we explore the survey from the perspective of age, the age demographic most likely to be considering changing their job in the near future is the 18 to 24 age range, whereby 22% answered they are already in the process of finding a new job.

Men (42%) were more likely than women (36%) to respond in the survey that they were considering changing their job in the near future, now that pandemic restrictions are being lifted and Covid-19 is starting to be treated as part of everyday life.

Which sectors are UK office workers hoping to move to in the near future?

The top five sectors respondents said they would be most interested in moving into in the near future were the creative arts and design, environment and agriculture, accountancy, banking and finance, business, consulting and management and finally energy and utilities.

The 18 to 24 age range was most likely to move in the future into the sectors of creative arts and design at (25%) and the 25 to 34 age demographic were most likely to move into business, consulting and management at (13%).

Additionally, the occupation sector the 35 to 44’s were hoping to move into was the creative arts and design and the most commonly chosen sector for the 45 to 54’s was environment and agriculture (13%). Finally, the sector the over 55’s were most likely to move to in the future was engineering and manufacturing (11%).

Northern Ireland at 50% answered they were the most likely to enter the Creative arts and Design sector, for Environment and culture was Scotland at 21%, for accounting, banking and finance was the East Midlands at 16%, for business, consulting and management was East Anglia at 25% and finally for energy and utilities was the West Midlands at 13%.

However, 15% of the respondents admitted they don’t know what sectors they would like to move into yet.

When looking for a new job, which are the most important aspects for UK office workers?

The research revealed that 46% of respondents stated that salary was the most important aspect when looking for a new job, then flexibility at 22% and the option to work from home or the office at 11%.

The youngest age group (18 to 24’s) were most likely to answer that salary was the most important aspect at 50%. The 35 to 44 and the over 55’s were most likely to state that flexibility was the most important aspect both at 23%.

Conversely, the 45 to 54 age demographic were most likely out of all the age groups to answer in the survey that the option to work from home or the office on a basis that suits them was the most important aspect at 14%.

Some 64% said that the most important aspects of a job have changed since the pandemic started. 31% said their priorities stayed the same.

Overall, for those who are looking for a career change, we hope that we have increased your knowledge of the UK’s attitude towards switching jobs.

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