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Work & Purpose

Who Wants to Change Careers and Why

A FlexJobs survey finds what's holding some people back


(The following article previously appeared on FlexJobs.com.)

The FlexJobs team just wrapped up a survey of over 1,000 professionals considering a career change. We asked them why they want to do make the transition and why now. We also wanted to know what’s holding them back from making the leap so we could provide helpful information and advice to move past those roadblocks.

The survey is part of our 100 Days on Jobs for Career Changers campaign.

(MORE: Networking Tips to Change Fields)

Here’s what we found:

Who Are Career Changers?

 

Here’s the demographic breakdown of the prospective career changers who completed our survey:

Age: About a third were over age 50. Specifically, 7 percent were age 20 to 29; 26 percent were 30 to 39; 33 percent were 40 to 49; 25 percent were 50 to 59 and 9 percent were 60 and older.

Highest education: More than three quarters had at least a college degree: 49 percent had an associate or bachelor’s degree; 30 percent had a graduate degree; 18 percent had some college but no degree and 3 percent had GEDs.

Career level: Nearly all were either experienced or managers or executives: 60 percent were experienced (non-managers) and 34 percent were managers or executives. Only 6 percent were entry-level.

(MORE: For a Career Switch, Try the Boomerang Approach)

Why Career Changers Want a Change

 

When asked for the reasons they’d consider a career change, respondents said:

  • Work-life balance (59 percent)
  • A desire for more meaningful work (47 percent)
  • Stress from their current career (40 percent)
  • Money or cost savings (37 percent)

 

Career Changers Want Work Flexibility

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they’d definitely change careers to find better work flexibility. Their Top 2 preferred flexible options were: 100 percent telecommuting and flexible schedules.

Added Benefits of a Career Change

Not only do career changers think a new profession would help them find better work-life balance and meaningful work; be less stressed and save money, they also saw two other benefits:

  • 76 percent said changing careers would have a positive impact on their personal relationships
  • 84 percent said it would allow them to be healthier or take better care of themselves

 

When Career Changers Plan to Make the Switch

A full 77 percent of people interested in a new vocation said they want to change careers this year.

What's Holding Career Changers Back

 

We found that there are several real concerns that can hold people back from transitioning to a new career. According to our survey, the top three factors are:

  • Money/cost considerations (52 percent)
  • Not being sure where to begin (45 percent)
  • Education or training for a new career (45 percent)

 

Brie Weiler Reynolds is Director of Online Content at Flexjobs.

By Brie Weiler Reynolds
Brie Weiler Reynolds is a career adviser and director of online content at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings, and Remote.co, the leading resource for companies on remote work.

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