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55% of Global Workers Considering Career Change in Response to Economy

April 13, 2012 — More than half of respondents (55%) to a global poll are considering a career switch in response to the current economy, while nearly one-third (30%) would consider a move if they could find a better career. Conversely, 15% responded that their careers were not affected by the economy.

The poll, conducted by Monster.com, asked visitors to its global websites, "Are national or global economic troubles causing you to consider a complete career change?" More than 4,600 responses were generated and international findings included:

  • Yes, I am trying to switch my career (55%)
  • Maybe, if I can find a better career (30%)
  • No, my career is not impacted by economic troubles (15%).

Results indicate a consistent response from workers across Europe, North America and Asia, where more than half of respondents in these countries are looking to change their career in response to an uncertain economy, by a respective 54% and joint 55%. North American regions included the United States (56%), Canada (55%) and Mexico (51%).

Meanwhile, Monster UK respondents were overwhelmingly in agreement about considering a switch in their career due to economic troubles, with nearly two-thirds (62%) answering "yes."

Of those who aren't already considering a career change, many others are on the fence: one-third of Canadian workers (33%) would consider a career change if something better came along, a response closely favored by French (31%) and U.S. (30%) respondents.

In comparison, there is a significant difference in the responses of workers country to country who answered that the economy is not affecting their careers. 9% of workers polled in the United Kingdom answered their career was not affected, compared to 15% of French workers who answered "no" to the same question.

"There are many types of career changes, with some people making a career 'side-step,' moving into a new kind of role within their current industry, while others may be making a more radical change," said Charles Purdy, Monster.com's career expert. "Before considering a change, workers need to do thorough research, making sure they have realistic expectations and a concrete plan for filling their skills gap. People consider a career change also should reach out to their networks and consider conducting informational interviews, for example. All of us should be actively managing our careers and making sure we're on top of developments in our chosen industry. At the same time, employers can work to retain employees by offering incentives such as training and skills development."

The results of the poll are based on votes cast by Monster visitors from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20, 2012. Only one vote per user is counted toward the final tabulation. The poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate.

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