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Nearly half of last year’s grads already looking to change jobs

Many of last year’s graduates already want to leave their current job as they revaluate the career decisions they made during the pandemic and make plans to get ahead, reports Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022. 

Many of last year’s graduates already want to leave their current job as they revaluate the career decisions they made during the pandemic and make plans to get ahead, reports Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022.

 5,000 students and graduates were polled to find out about their career plans for 2022. It found that last year’s graduates were most likely to want to change jobs this year (40%), compared to earlier cohorts (average 30%). They reported that trying to be optimistic and motivated about their careers were among their biggest challenges.

One in five 2021 graduates are now working in jobs that they don’t think of as a career and 60% want to switch industry entirely. Just over half said that decision was due to the pandemic. Creative arts and design, healthcare and psychology, and public services were the most popular potential new career destinations.

The survey also found that nearly half (48%) of last year’s graduates are jumping jobs to further their career, indicating that the opportunity to develop and grow with their current employer isn’t an option. Stagnant salaries and the rising cost of living are also impacting career decisions with 18% looking for a pay increase.  

Charlie Ball, Prospects labour market lead at Jisc said “Many of last year’s graduates were worried about the state of the jobs market when they graduated and that led to some made hasty decisions when they left university. The current labour shortage, including a lack of graduates, means there are a lot of opportunities particularly for second or third jobbers and those wishing to move ahead.”

The survey showed that when looking for a new employer, graduates place most importance on training followed by career progression and better work/life balance. Women are more likely than men to prioritise salary.

“Employers are grappling with retention problems right now, and in some sectors they are proving very tough to manage. The fact that there are structural issues in the economy, particularly with getting people in from outside the UK, means those shortages don’t look likely to ease very soon. Talking to young workers about how they want to progress, offering relevant training and being flexible are important right now,” added Charlie.

The survey showed a decline in young people seeking careers advice, despite industry professionals being viewed as the most helpful. Prospects at Jisc is urging students and graduates considering job or career changes to seek advice.

Charlie said: “Careers services adapted to the pandemic by offering remote support and virtual careers events, and many of those opportunities have continued yet there’s been a drop off in students and graduates using them. There are more job opportunities and so graduates may well have more options than they think. It’s important that young people make the right choices and professional careers advisors are best placed to help.”

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