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Deep Thoughts

The Career Tsunami

What am I doing with my life?

This is the question most people are asking themselves right now.

Staring down the barrel of your own mortality for 12 months will rewire the way you think and what you value. And, for many of us, the way we work and what we do with our time is firmly under the microscope.

With vaccine programmes accelerating worldwide, more and more companies are starting to put out the office siren to call people back to the holy ground of “work”.

But, how many are actually going to come back?

According to data from Aviva’s latest “How We live” survey, 60% of us are planning on making a career change as we slowly emerge from this chaos in 21/22. Under 25’s in particular, are the most likely to re-think their careers plans as a result of the big old pandemic.

Plus, nearly 12% (approx 10.8million people) of UK residents plan to turn their side gig into a second source of income or even turn it into a new full time career.

A multi-generational effect

It’s important to note that the career tsunami is not exclusive to one generation. It affects everyone, and we are seeing movements in all age ranges.

Take those who are 45 and over as an example. According to research from Microsoft, the pandemic is causing 1 in 4 over 45’s to consider a career change. Here we can see the most popular sectors from which people are looking to make a change.

So, we can see that some of the industries hit most by the pandemic are here but also, interestingly, a number that were not.

We can start to see how the career tsunami will be fuelled from all different age groups.

When you like your home more than an office

The other big factor that cannot be ignored in the career tsunami, is the overwhelming want for many of us to spend more time at home.

We’ve all been able to partake in what was once the forbidden fruit of home working. And, for many of us, there’s no going back.

A key driver in talent attraction and retention is going to be the policies that companies create around the balance of the office and home. No one is going to get this right at the beginning but be warned – get this horribly wrong at the first hurdle and the tsunami may overcome your workforce.

The below set of data from McKinsey & Co gives us a view into what many workforces want ⬇️

The career tsunami is going to be fuelled by the rejection of hybrid working and not just people wanting to do something else with their lives.

The fallout from this has already begun.

In a recent survey from Wade McDonald, they found that roughly 1 in 5 employers have rejected any from of hybrid working. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what will be taking place in those workforces shortly.

If you plan to join the tsunami 🌊

This is going to be my send-off for you, with a little advice on navigating a career change.

Now I’ve never done it in a pandemic (show me someone who has!) but I can tell you that road is not straight. It takes time, effort and a clear sense of focus to make your aspirations a reality.

On top of this, the feeling of change can derail any of us if we let it plague our minds. This is why it’s essential to accept change for what it is – tough, sometimes uncomfortable but in the end, necessary for growth.

On the flip side, if you’re an employer and want to stop the tsunami of potential leavers hitting your shores, consider what you want your future of work to look like.

We’re in the midst of a great reset right now. One where we all have the opportunity to pursue the things we really want to do with our time and for companies to build the environment where people want to be.


Before you go… 👋

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