Career Change Statistics:
You Will Change Careers 7 Times in Your Life?

The average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life according to career change statistics.

With an ever increasing number of different career choices on offer, approximately 30% of the total workforce will now change jobs every 12 months.
By the age of 42 you will probably already have had about ten jobs. [DOL]

What Do These Career Change Statistics Tell Us?

  1. If you are going to change careers five to seven times in your working life, you should plan for it! Plan financially, plan by paying attention to networking opportunities and plan for possible career change training.

  2. Employers expect, or at least accept, that workers will be changing jobs a lot more often - about every 3 years.

  3. If you are changing jobs less than every three years, you are in the minority.
    You may need to have a well-prepared explanation when you front up to your next job interview.

  4. What causes workers to want to change careers every three years?
    Do we simply get bored or is it the result of having many more different career choices?
    Do we become more aware of our gifts and abilities and have a desire to align them with a better job fit?
    Is three years about how long it takes for people to run into work culture problems or personal conflicts in their working environment?

Am I Making a Career Change or a Job Change?

One of the problems when assessing these career change statistics is to differentiate between making a job change or making a career change.

It can be difficult to differentiate between the two as the Department of Labor has suggested.

For example if a schoolteacher secures a new job as a corporate sales trainer, has she changed careers or 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 Are the Most Common Reasons For Career Change?

Career change statistics from the DOL don't tell us much about why people change jobs. But here are some likely reasons based on other sources.

  1. Frustration and disillusionment. Not using my natural abilities in my current job.
  2. Redundancy or business closure.
  3. Working in a diminishing industry.
  4. Realignment of personal/spiritual values-midlife re-evaluation.
  5. Dislike of the organizational culture.
  6. Money?

What Other Visitors Have Said

See what others have said...

Corporate Survivor 
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. …

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 …

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 tommorow's work …

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.

For more information on what motivates workers to leave a job see career change reason

The Pros and Cons of Making a Career Change

Career change statistics suggest we will now experiences more frequent job changes than previously.
So is this a good or bad thing for workers?
There are pros and cons.

Some of the benefits of a frequent career change are:
  • You are less likely to get bored.

  • You will be exposed to a greater variety of work experiences and organizational cultures.

  • You will meet a lot more people, which is ideal for networking for your next job.

  • Having different career choices available means that you might be tempted to change careers too frequently.

Some negative results of this could be:
  • Prospective employers may be thinking hey this guy will be gone in 12 months, thereby reducing your employment chances.

  • 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 Make a Career Change

Career change information tell us that one of the most common reasons people leave a job is due to being dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

Research suggests that up to 80% of people are not happy in their current job and the main reason for this is a mismatch between what they are good at and what they are currently doing.

My career change advice is this; always be trying to move closer to a job that uses your natural gifts and abilities.
This is the only real way to experience true fulfillment in your career.

This career assessment can help you uncover what you are good at.
Many people have greatly benefited from completing this.

The assessment investigates your life to date to discover what things [both work and non-work] you like to do and are good at.

There is a bit of work involved in completing it, but it is well worth it and is something you will probably keep and reread in the years ahead as you assess various career moves. As a professional with over 15 years experience as a career consultant, I believe it is probably the best career assessment instrument available. But it is a case of what you put in, you get back.

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Career Change Statistics

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Making a Career Change

Simon Davies Career Change Counselling
Gold Coast: Robina, Queensland Australia 4213
Phone Mobile (outside of Australia) +6148 1333 415
Phone Mobile (in Australia) 0481 333415
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