The career-for-life is vanishing

Driving the change are changing personal interests, according to 30% of respondents, followed by the need for improved work-life balance (27%), and demand for higher incomes (22%).

The findings about career choice and career progression are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including more than 1800 in New Zealand.

“Almost half the New Zealand workforce are currently considering changing their careers and making fresh start,” said Kelly Services marketing manager Victoria Robertson. “That’s potentially massive shift in the workforce, which could mean both benefits – in terms of increased engagement and productivity – and costs in areas like retraining and recruitment, for the local economy.

“It also marks strong societal change. For an earlier generation, change of career would have meant something of crisis. However, today it is seen as reflection of shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, as well as changing personal interests on the part of employees.

“The single life-long career pathway is now the exception rather than the rule. This means both employers and employees need to focus on greater range of transferrable skills and experience in finding the ideal role or candidate.”

The survey also revealed shifting attitude to career interruption, with three-quarters of those surveyed believing they could resume their career at the same level after taking break for such things as maternity or paternity leave, illness or an extended holiday. Surprise, Surprise Gen Y (aged 18-29) workers are the most assured about resuming their career following break, with 78 percent confident they could do so.

The survey also overwhelmingly showed most New Zealanders believe experience is more important in the development of their careers (83%) than education (15%). However, whopping 95 percent say that it is either “extremely important” or “important” that qualifications and skills be upgraded in order to progress their career.

More than two-thirds of respondents say they aspire to an executive position. For those that didn’t the main reasons given were the impact on work-life balance, cited by 38 percent, followed by concern about pressure and stress (30 percent), inadequate skills or education (14 percent) and lack of ambition (10 percent).

• For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.


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