Half of UK Workers Plan Career Changes in Next 12 Months Due to COVID

A new Aviva study has found that more than half of UK workers – 53% – plan to make changes to their careers in the next 12 months as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’s not surprising that we’re seeing big changes in how and where we work as the nationwide lockdown forced businesses and their employees to adapt quickly. Many employees have been furloughed or asked to work from home, which has also given them time to assess how they like and want to work in the future.

The findings in Aviva’s How We Live report highlight just how much of an impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on the future of work.

Flexibility is the most popular career aspiration

The most significant area driving career change is the desire to have more flexible working. One in 10 UK workers say that in the next 12 months, they aim to find a role that will allow them to work from home.

The desire to work from home is strongest in London where one in six workers intend to find a role which will allow them to work remotely. This compares to just three per cent of workers in the East of England.

Plans for retraining and learning new skills

Just behind the hope for flexibility is the aspiration to retrain or learn new skills, a plan for 9% of UK workers. This rises to 15% of people aged 25-34. Echoing this view, 8% of workers hope to gain more academic qualifications in the next 12 months.

With the competition for graduate jobs being particularly tough at the moment, we’re also likely to see many continuing with their education to give the market time to recover.

The desire to help others

We’ve all been in awe of key workers who have saved lives and kept the country going throughout this pandemic. Two million workers have certainly been inspired and now plan to find a new role which helps others.

Bringing retirement earlier

Covid-19 has also expedited some people’s retirement plans. Within the 55-64 age group, 10% of workers say they plan to retire within the next 12 months, as a direct result of the COVID situation.

The legacy of lockdown hobbies

The How We Live report also found that almost half of the nation’s adults (45%) have tried their hand at new hobbies in 2020, provoking further ideas for career changes.

Six per cent of hobbyists intend to transform a hobby into a career – equating to just over 2 million workers. A further 9% – equivalent to just over 3 million workers – plan to gain a second source of income through their new side-line.

Gareth Hemming, MD, Personal Lines, for Aviva says: “The additional time at home and the temporary closure of many services has meant that people have found different ways to use their time, and in some cases developed new skills. Lockdown has also allowed time to reflect on lifestyles and vocations, so it’s possible that innovative career paths may be forged, making use of these new talents.”

Source: https://www.aviva.co.uk/aviva-edit/how-we-live/

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