According to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services® the career life is fast vanishing, with over half of UK respondents saying they expect to change their career in the next five years.

The main cause, cited by 27 per cent, is changing personal interests, followed by the need for higher income (23 per cent), and the need for improved work-life balance (22 per cent).

The findings about career choice and career progression are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including approximately 2,200 in the U.K.

“We are seeing a surprisingly large number of people who are actively considering the critical issue of whether they should change their careers and make a fresh start,” said Dominic Graham, Head of Professional and Technical, Kelly Services.

“For an earlier generation, a change of career would have been something of a crisis, however today, it is seen as a reflection of shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, as well as changing personal interests on the part of employees.”

One sign of the shifting attitude to career interruption is that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of those surveyed believe they could resume their career at the same level after taking a break for such things as maternity or paternity leave, illness or an extended holiday.

Gen Y (aged 18-29) are the most confident of resuming their career following a break, with 78 per cent confident they could do so, compared with 62 per cent of Gen X (aged 30-47), and 60 per cent of baby boomers (aged 48-65).

Results of the survey in the U.K show:

• The industry sectors in which employees will face the greatest likelihood of career change are Transport/Distribution, Education, Hospitality, Retail, and Travel/Leisure.
• In determining the most important elements in a person’s career – experience or formal education – the vast majority (84 per cent) nominate experience, while 14 per cent cite formal education and 2 per cent are undecided.
• Most respondents (67 per cent) say that when looking for a job, the best indicator of a person’s talent is their work experience, followed by performance in the job interview (21 per cent), job references (6 per cent) and education (also 6 per cent).
• Almost two-thirds of respondents (63 per cent) say they aspire to an executive position, while 28 per cent do not.
• The main reasons for avoiding executive positions are the impact on work-life balance, cited by 33 per cent, followed by concern about pressure and stress (31 per cent), inadequate skills (14 per cent), and lack of ambition (9 per cent).
• 91 per cent say that it is either “extremely important” or “important” that qualifications and skills be upgraded in order to progress their career.

“As individuals take greater control of their careers, there is a likelihood of employees moving in and out of the workforce for both professional and lifestyle reasons. Employers and employees will both need to adapt to this new workplace reality, where the smooth career pathway will be the exception rather than the rule,” Dominic concludes.