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Pandemic prompts huge career rethink: UK study

More than half of UK workers plan to make changes to their careers in the next 12 months as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The upheaval caused by the pandemic has not only rapidly changed where we work, but has also prompted millions to consider how they work – and if they would be happier doing something entirely different, a new study by British international insurance company Aviva reveals.

Aviva’s How We Live Report finds the most popular career aspiration emerging from the crisis is the desire for flexibility. One in 10 UK workers say that in the next 12 months, they aim to find a role that will allow them to work from home.

Just behind the hope for flexibility is the aspiration to retrain or learn new skills, a plan for nine per cent of UK workers, while eight per cent hoped to gain more academic qualifications, and seven per cent say they plan to follow a completely different career path.

Six per cent plan to set up their own business. While this may seem a low figure, it represents just over two million workers, indicating Britain could be on the cusp of an entrepreneurial boom.

A further six per cent want to find a role that helps others or makes a difference to those in need, reflecting the wider recognition of the value of health and care workers.

Gareth Hemming, MD, Personal Lines, for Aviva says: “The additional time at home and the temporary closure of many services has meant that people have found different ways to use their time, and in some cases developed new skills. Lockdown has also allowed time to reflect on lifestyles and vocations, so it’s possible that innovative career paths may be forged, making use of these new talents.”

The Aviva report draws on data from a survey of 4,002 randomly selected UK adults aged 16 and upwards, carried out by Censuswide Research in July. The study of career aspirations relates to the views of 2,445 employed people interviewed as part of this survey.

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