Research of 5,000 employed adults found a year and a half marks the average point when employees come to realise exactly what their job prospects are – and when it’s time to start thinking about pastures new.

• Not being valued for their contributions, feeling like they were being underpaid and working conditions starting to deteriorate are among the leading causes of itchy feet.
• 18 per cent experienced job doubt when finding themselves working too many hours.
• Once feelings of frustration start, it typically takes just over three months to land a new position.

“Once the honeymoon period of a new job is over, it’s possible that you realise it wasn’t quite the right fit for you all along,” suggests Doug Rode, UK&I managing director at Michael Page, which commissioned the research. “When these thoughts start to manifest, it is only a matter of time before something has to give. There is nothing worse than being miserable in your job, so unhappy workers should address any concerns with their employer and attempt to find a solution.”

The study went on to find that 22 per cent of workers are planning on seeking new employment within the first half of this year. Nearly 23 per cent want to pursue different opportunities and 21 per cent feel like they have hit a ceiling with how far they can progress in their current role. An additional 19 per cent are disgruntled about their current circumstances because there’s been no pay rise within the last 12 months. On the other hand, 28 per cent of staff have had a welcome increase in their pay within the last three months as the cost of living has continued to squeeze household finances.

The research also found 35 per cent want to join an employer which offers opportunities to train, while a well-designed and equipped office environment is a bonus for 28 per cent. When it comes to benefits within their contract, 52 per cent want a minimum of 28 days holiday and 46 per cent want a competitive company pension contribution. While 43 per cent want progressive hybrid, flexible and remote working policies, and 27 per cent want good parental or family leave policies.

Doug Rode added: “Identifying what workers prioritise when looking for a new role is a useful tool for any company seeking not only to hire top talent but also retain their own. Businesses need to ensure that their contractual benefits are fit for the modern working world – and that their ‘nice to have’ perks reflect the new, post-pandemic desires of workers across the country. From early finish Fridays and significant annual leave allowance through to staying competitive when it comes to pensions, there are numerous ways that employers can attract talent. Thinking outside the box can be a great way to have an edge over the competition but often it’s a case of getting the basics spot on and always keeping your benefits refreshed and up to date.”

Stay up to date

Keep me up to date to receive all the latest news and updates.