With recession fears looming, you would expect employees to be content with the status quo. Interestingly, the opposite is true. Workers who are worried about job security are more likely to make career moves this year. That’s according to a recent Bankrate survey showing that nearly nine in 10 workers (88%) who are concerned about keeping their jobs say they will take at least one action in the next year. Those possible career moves include looking for a new job, asking for a raise, relocating or even quitting. Sarah Foster, an analyst at Bankrate.com, adds, “Never knowing when the ‘last call’ to job hop or negotiate may officially arrive, workers are fighting through those recession fears and taking action.”
According to the data, more workers are committed to career change than a year ago, with 56% of the workforce likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. That statistic is up from 51% in 2022. And nearly a quarter of workers have already left their positions, with 21% of employees securing a new role in the last year.
It’s clear that workers aren’t planning to wait to find greener pastures. Here are five reasons why more employees are deciding to make bold career moves.
Workers want higher pay
Given the economy, it’s unsurprising that employees want to combat inflation with higher salaries. Now that the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, it’s also an excellent time to make a career move. But it’s unclear how long the current situation will last. So, if you’re thinking of transitioning to secure additional compensation, don’t wait too long.
Workers want a more balanced life
In the Bankrate survey, benefits like flexible working hours (13%), the ability to work from home (12%) and additional time off (5%) ranked high on the list of the most important job qualities moving forward. Increasingly, workers want to feel valued and cared for by employers. Gen Z, in particular, prioritizes jobs where they can make a difference without feeling like they have to submit to a hustle culture. Meaningful work and a sense of purpose are what really matter to them, and they are willing to change jobs to get it.
Workers want to feel secure
Given that layoffs continue to dominate the headlines, job security is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. But workers don’t just want to feel confident in their employment status. They also want to feel psychologically safe at work. That means participating in a work culture that promotes trust, transparency and respect. Yet employees are increasingly finding themselves in unhealthy work environments. In fact, a report from the McKinsey Health Institute found that 25% of employees experience high rates of toxic behavior at work. But instead of suffering in silence, workers are deciding to make bold career moves.
Workers want to grow their careers
A survey conducted by ADP Research Institute shows just how vital career progression is to workers. The study, People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View, reveals that 40% of workers say career progression matters most in a job, compared to 23% the previous year. In addition, training and development also increased in importance from 18% in 2022 to 23% this year. Clearly, professional advancement is becoming more critical for employees who value a clear career path. If employers fail to address this need, workers will inevitably seek career growth opportunities elsewhere.
Even with inflation and a possible recession on the horizon, workers aren’t afraid to make gutsy career moves. If you’re concerned about your professional future, take steps to future-proof your career. Some examples include focusing on your personal brand, updating your LinkedIn profile and reaching out to your network to maintain those connections. While you can’t control the future, you can control how you react.