Over 3 million workers to seek career change post COVID-19

author-avatar By on May 20, 2020
Over 3 million workers to seek career change post COVID-19

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

A new report has revealed 3.3 million Aussie adults are rethinking their career path.

The ING Future Focus Report, released on Wednesday, found the COVID-19 pandemic had 1.38 million Millenials and 1.31 million Generation Xers looking to change jobs. 

ING’s Head of Retail Banking, Melanie Evans said the pandemic had made many workers rethink their career and existing skills, while others had been sparked to pursue their dream job. 

“Millennials and those who fall into Generation X are at points in their life where stable incomes are really important," Ms Evans said.

"Many millennials are experiencing big life changes like marriage, children and home ownership. For Generation X they’re probably paying off mortgages and planning for their retirement.

“We’ve had a good run of booming job growth in Australia so many millennials may have never experienced an economic downturn in their working careers.

"This could be why so many are taking the initiative to re assess careers and learn skills.”

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While many workers wanted to change jobs, 32% expected opportunities to be very hard to come by, and one in four (23%) feel anxious or fearful about the prospects of finding work. 

“There’s no denying Australians are nervous about what lies ahead, but our report reveals Aussies are being resourceful - using this time to plan for the future and upskill so they can move with the times,” Ms Evans said. 

The report highlighted more than a quarter (28%) of adults were learning new skills while in isolation, whether that was an attempt to progress their careers (17%) or simply to learn something new (11%). 

“This increase in learning will help people feel more optimistic about the future of work beyond COVID 19,” Ms Evans added. 

With almost 600,000 Australians out of work, and another six million receiving JobKeeper, the fact that so many Australians are feeling vulnerable about their current career won't come as a surprise to some.

COVID-19 accelerates the future workforce 

Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson, who partnered with ING on the report, said pandemics have a history of spawning cultural and labour transformation. 

"Just as the Spanish Flu and Black Plague shifted ways of working, COVID-19 will lead to an even closer relationship with technology, with the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics,” Mr Sörman-Nilsson said.

“Not only are there thriving new industries to take advantage of, but Aussies can transfer their current skills, learn new ways of working and adapt to the current climate.”

Mr Sörman-Nilsson outlined a number of predictions and workplace trends which would spawn from the pandemic: 

Robots join the team 

"Digital connectedness will thrive, from robots and drones utilised in healthcare, to tech connecting people who are separated."

STEMpathy will get you hired 

"Whilst some machines might take over old jobs, emotional intelligence is not something that can be programmed. It will be important for people to have multiple skill sets that combine creativity and entrepreneurship with digital technologies."

Eco companies will lead the way 

"As we look to tomorrow, businesses that focus on sustainability, renewable energy and carbon neutrality will be the leaders of our new economy."

EdTech the new normal 

"Within schools and workplaces we will continue to gain access to world-class mentors and teachers through hybrid education models that fuse virtual learning with face-to-face."

Your wellbeing is the priority 

"We will see workplaces place greater emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, including access to online therapy, mediation apps and dedicated wellbeing spaces."

A home office will be commonplace 

"As more workplaces offer the opportunity to work from home, we will see a rise in those looking to build or buy properties with home offices."

Those who can adapt quickly will thrive 

"Whilst niche skills will still be needed, it will become increasingly important for people to diversify their skill sets and continue to learn outside of traditional education to ensure they are flexible and ready for change."


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Alex joined Savings.com.au as a finance journalist in 2019. He enjoys covering in-depth economical releases and breaking down how they might affect the everyday punter. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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