Numerous Career Changes Are Normal
The average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life according to career change statistics.
With an ever increasing number of career choices, 30% of the workforce will now change careers or jobs every 12 months.
By the age of 42 you may already have had about ten jobs. [D.O.L]
Am I Making a Career Change or a Job Change?
One of the problems when assessing career change statistics is to differentiate between making a job change and making a career change.
For example if a schoolteacher secures a new job as a corporate sales trainer, has she changed careers or just changed jobs?
You could argue that she has changed careers from education to sales.
Or you could argue that she has changed jobs from schoolteacher to adult teacher.
What about someone who transitions from a sales representative to a marketing manager.
You could argue that they have not changed careers because they are still in the sales field.
But marketing experts would say that sales and marketing are two completely different fields and that this transition does constitute a career change.
What Do These Career Change Statistics Tell Us?
- If you are going to change careers, you should plan for it! Plan financially, plan by proactively setting up networks and understand how to market yourself, and plan to potentially engage in some career change training.
- Employers expect, or at least accept, that workers will be changing jobs a lot more often these days – about every 3 years.
- If you are changing jobs less than every three years, you are in the minority.
You may need to have an explanation when you front up to your next job interview about why you have changed jobs so frequently.
- What causes workers to want to change careers this frequently?
(a) Do we simply get bored, or is it the result of having many different career choices?
b) Do we become more aware of our natural gifts and abilities as we get older and have a desire to align them with a better job fit?
(c) Is three years about how long it takes for people to run into work culture problems, or personal conflicts in their working environment?
What Are the Most Common Reasons For Career Change?
Career change statistics from the D.O.L don’t tell us much about why people change jobs. But here are some likely reasons based on other sources.
- Frustration and disillusionment – not using my natural abilities in my current job.
- Not happy with management.
- Redundancy or business closure.
- Working in a diminishing industry.
- Realignment of personal or spiritual values (i.e.) a midlife re-evaluation.
- Dislike of the organizational culture.
- Want more money!
For more information on what motivates workers to leave a job, see career change reasons.
| What Other Visitors to This Site Have Said|
We are told to study and work in something we enjoy. But, these tend to be over-crowded fields. It is better to get a hobby for something to enjoy … more
| When it’s time to go. |
Many years ago I left an excellent dream job here in the US because of a change in immediate management. The new manager was of a different cultural background … more
| Is it time to leave your job? |
You know it’s best to leave when you feel like you can’t breathe there every single day. You find it hard to sleep at night thinking about tomorrow’s work … more
|The boss drove me crazy Not rated yet|
You know it’s time to change your career when it starts to change who you are becoming outside of work …more
The Pros and Cons of Making a Career Switch
Career change statistics suggest we will change jobs more often, but is this a good thing?
Pros and cons:
- Less likely to get bored.
- You get to experience a greater variety of job types and organizational cultures.
- You will increase your collection of skills, thereby improving future job options
- You will meet more people (which is ideal for networking for your next job).
Some negative results of this could be:
- Having different career choices available means that you might be tempted to change careers too frequently.
- Prospective employers may think ‘hey this guy will be gone in 12 months’, thereby making them reluctant to employ you.
- You may also miss out on the opportunity to climb the ladder within an organization simply because you aren’t there long enough.
- Some people may also make some unreasonable judgments on your stability as an employee.
A Good Reason to Change Jobs
Career change information tells us that one of the most common reasons people leave a job is due to being dissatisfied and unfulfilled with the work they do.
Up to 80% of people are not happy in their current job according to research and the main reason for this is a mismatch between what they are good at and what they are currently doing.
So we should always be trying to move closer to a job that uses our natural gifts and abilities. This is the only way we can experience fulfillment in a career.
Click here to find out what you are good at in life
The link to the assessment above considers your life to date to discover what you naturally like to do and are good at (everyone’s good at something). It does involve a bit of work completing it, but it is time well spent. It will also become valuable long term as you can revisit the results over again as you make future career decisions.