The new year traditionally sees a surge in self-reflection, with the opening few months often inspiring thoughts of fresh starts and reinvention. Resolutions can take many forms, from physical to personal goals, but some may also strive for a happier professional life.

According to ISL Recruitment, January and February are considered some of the busiest periods for its industry, with businesses receiving their annual hiring budgets and individuals seeking new opportunities. A poll commissioned by the Oxford Open Learning Trust has explored the major motivations behind people looking for a career change.

The YouGov survey of 2,000 adults found that while money is predictably the biggest motivator behind moving jobs (64%), over half of the respondents cited working hours as an important factor (55%). With people striving for a healthy work-life balance, it is perhaps unsurprising that workers are looking for employment that fits in around their lifestyle and allows them enough time to themselves.

It is also encouraging to see ‘enjoyment’ listed as the joint third most considered aspect during the job search process. Finances will always be central to a lot of career changes, but half of Brits (50%) say they would follow their heart and look for jobs which align with their personal interests.

The top 10 most important factors when choosing a new job are:

1. Salary: 64%
2. Working hours: 55%
3. Location: 50%
= Personal interest / enjoyment: 50%
5. Job security: 40%
6. Working environment: 37%
7. Opportunities for progression: 26%
8. Opportunities for training/learning a new skill: 23%
9. The opinions of my family/partner: 12%
10. Status: 9%

The research found that over a quarter of British workers (28%) are considering switching careers in the next decade, while 13% are possibly looking to move within the next four years.

It appears that Brits are prepared to put the effort in for these new jobs, with nearly three in five UK adults (58%) saying they would consider training/retraining for a new career. This figure rises to around two thirds (66%) among current workers.

Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of the Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “People often see the start of the year as a good opportunity to start afresh and plan for a brighter future.

“Moving jobs is one way of achieving a lifestyle shift and it’s really interesting to see the main reasons why people are looking to make such changes.

“While money is always going to be an important consideration, it is pleasing to see that the nation is looking after their own interests too, with things like location and enjoyment listed highly.”

The survey was commissioned to launch the Profession Picker tool, which is designed to help adults who are thinking of making a career change. Each year, the Oxford Open Learning Trust serves learners that might need an extra qualification such as a GCSE or A Level in order to get their desired job and start a new career. To use the tool, head to: http://www.ool.co.uk/the-profession-picker/

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