The top 4 reasons why Australians change careers - common motivators - SEEK Career Advice

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Top 4 reasons why Australians change careers

Top 4 reasons why Australians change careers

At SEEK, we know jobs and we know that every day, every minute, every second, thousands of Australians are seeking a career change. Why? There are loads of reasons why people decide to move on, but with the help of SEEK’s extensive research we’ve nutted it down to the top four reasons.

Before you think your catalyst for a career change is unworthy, think again. The following reasons are inspiring people like you to move on to new and more suitable roles:

1. Career progression  

33% of Australians change jobs because they're in search of that next big step up in their careers. The most common motivators driving them to climb the ladder include:

33% of Australians change jobs because they're in search of that next big step up in their careers.
  • A better package and benefits. With growing families and escalating costs of living, it’s accepted to expect periodic pay rises when they’re due. When you’ve worked in a role that no longer remunerates your level of competency, it can often be time to find a new position that rewards you appropriately. This is true of 35% of males compared to 28% of females who are more likely to change careers for an increase in their pay packet.
  • A new challenge. Many people who are following an upward career trajectory value a challenge as well as an increased status. When your role has ceased growing with you, it could be time to seek something more challenging elsewhere.
  • Greater potential for career advancement. Certain organisational structures offer little room to progress in their hierarchy. Often, it’s a particular type of role that requires changing in order to advance one’s career.

2. Negative experiences at work

22% of Australians change jobs because they are experiencing something adverse at work that makes their time spent there unpleasant. These include:

  • Too much stress. With a workload large enough for two people, there are only so many days, months and years that a high-pressure job can last. Stress at work can have a knock on effect in other areas of one’s life, which can often drive people to seek a new job.
  • A bad boss. Whether there’s a personality clash or your boss lacks sound management skills, a bad boss can make your time at work unbearable.
  • Feeling unappreciated. Most people respond well to praise, a verbal or written thank you or attention from their managers. If you’re working hard without any recognition, a new job in a company that values reward and recognition might be the answer.

3. External factors                                               

18% of Australians change jobs because of external factors that are usually not in their own control. These include:

  • Redundancy. Redundancies can happen to anyone if the function of the job is no longer required. This usually forces people to look for similar roles elsewhere or even reevaluate their professional goals.
  • Moving cities, states or countries. There are many factors that could lead someone to relocate, including a partner accepting a job elsewhere or wanting to be close to family. In these cases, it’s about being adaptable and open to change.      
  • Illness/health problems. Sadly for some, work plans have to take a back seat when ill health presents itself. People in this position will often look for more flexible working arrangements that accommodate rest, treatment or recovery time.

4. To improve work conditions                            

13% of Australians seek new job opportunities to improve their working conditions. Some of these people are looking to make changes to their:

  • Lack of job security. Having a job for life is very much a thing of the past. The workforce worldwide has suffered from multiple recessions, and today, employees often live with the fear of losing their jobs. Many people will seek new jobs where the terms of their new contracts assure better security.
  • Poor work/life balance. Many people seek a better work/life balance so they can have more time for their family, and other passions and pursuits, such as study. The perk for employers? Time spent away from work can make people better employees when they’re back at their desks.
  • Boredom. Certain roles can fail to provide employees with an ample workload or a level of challenge that keeps people stimulated and motivated. With too much time to ponder and feel uninspired, boredom at work is a sure-fire way to drive people to seek new jobs. In fact, 18% of women compared to 12% of men will seek out a career change in order to feel more challenged at work.