The changing job market following the COVID-19 lockdown has led UK workers to reassess their career paths, with seven in 10 now more likely to consider working in a different sector.
A survey of 5,364 Brits who are currently not working due to coronavirus, by Totaljobs, found one in five have been using their free time in lockdown to search and plan for a career in a new industry.
Those considering a career change by working in a different industry are driven by a desire to learn new skills or challenge themselves (51%), gain a better work-life balance (43%) or have increased job security (32%).
Recent developments have meant over a fifth (22%) of UK workers have realised their current role isn’t for them.
Half of Brits expect they’ll make a career change within the next two years, equating to nearly 16.6 million UK workers switching industry in that time. However, nearly a quarter (23%) plan to do so within the next 12 months.
Another two in five (43%) said they hope to make the move to a new industry “as soon as possible.”
Others have already had to make a career change out of necessity. News of former airline staff using their first aid training in hospitals, or hospitality workers finding temporary work as delivery drivers has shown how UK businesses and workers have adapted to the ever-changing situation.
According to the research, 7% of people have already started work in a different industry, after being displaced due to COVID-19.
Of these, nearly seven in 10 (67%) believe the skills they already had were of use. As a result, the same number believe they now have a better understanding of the value of their skillset.
READ MORE: When is a sideways career move a good thing?
Over half (55%) of these workers were surprised to find the transition across industries was smooth, and even more — 56% — said the change was welcome as they were intending to work in a different industry anyway.
Because of this, over half (52%) of workers intend to stay in their new industry, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions lifting.
Hearing stories from those who have already changed industries has inspired others, with more than a fifth (22%) of Brits claiming they are now more aware of how they could use their own professional skill-set in a new setting.