One year on: Covid accelerates desire for a career change

Three fifths of UK workers plan to make career changes as a result of Covid, an increase of seven percentage points since last July.

This was revealed as a result of research conducted as part of insurer Aviva’s latest How We Live report, which details changes from the relatively minor, such as learning new skills or gaining further qualifications, to switching career path completely.

The proportion of workers intending to find a completely different vocation has increased from seven to nine per cent, while those planning to take on a role which helps others has risen from six to eight per cent.

While these increases may appear to be relatively small, the company points out, they account for nearly 700,000  additional workers on both counts.

As in July, the most popular change which people would like to introduce to their occupation is the ability to work from home. This figure has stayed static at 10 per cent, suggesting that home-working has proved a benefit of the pandemic for some.

This still appears to be strongest in London where one in six  intend to find a role which will allow them to work remotely. The proportion of would-be homeworkers is lowest in Scotland.

an increasing number of people have given thought to what they want from their careers

The research also reveals some interesting insights in relation to specific age groups. People under 25 are most likely to want to make changes to their work plans in the next 12 months, with 87 per cent re-evaluating their careers.

They are also more likely than any other age group to want a role where they can work from home and the most likely to be seeking a job which helps others. Those in the 25-34 age group are most likely to want to retrain or follow a completely different career path.

At the opposite end of the working age spectrum, people are even more likely to want to retire as a result of the pandemic, than they were in July 2020. One in seven aged 55 and above say the pandemic has escalated their retirement plans to within the next 12 months, compared to 11 per ent in July 2020.

 This latest research also suggests there are an increasing number of people who plan to turn hobbies into income streams.

Gareth Hemming, MD, Personal Lines, Aviva said: “As the pandemic has continued, an increasing number of people have given thought to what they want from their careers and now three fifths of people would like to make changes to their working lives. The extent of these changes varies: in some instances people want more flexibility, such as the ability to work from home, while others wish to change their career paths completely.”

More on Aviva here