New research from Michael Page has revealed the average age that workers look to change careers. Employees aged 31 are much more likely to consider a role or even industry switch according to the latest Michael Page Pulse which surveyed 5,000 UK workers.

Of those surveyed, 26 per cent said they were considering a change in the ‘not-too-distant’ future, with 44 per cent already having made the leap to something new – and an overwhelmingly positive 68 per cent of these said that they had ‘never looked back’.

The top reasons cited for a career change include better earning opportunities (33 per cent) and yearning for roles they are more passionate about (32 per cent). Employee demand for a better work-life balance remains front of mind for today’s workers as 19 per cent cited this as motivation for a career change. The economic turbulence of recent months has also prompted change within the workforce, with 15 per cent of respondents saying redundancy helped them seize the opportunity to switch.

Education and healthcare are the industries that are most in demand, according to the new research. Of those surveyed one in ten (10 per cent) said they have or would consider moving into healthcare and a similar number said the same of education (9 per cent).

Doug Rode, managing director UK & Ireland at global recruitment specialist Michael Page, which commissioned the research, said: “Changing career can be daunting and feelings of uncertainty are natural when faced with such a major decision. But job hunters should be empowered by our findings, which show that 68 per cent of people who have made the switch ‘never looked back’.

“Whatever is driving you to seek change, be that the calling to pursue a personal passion or getting back to work following a redundancy, it is important to take the time to properly research and plan out your next steps,” he added.

“Whilst this data shows that 31 is the national average age to change career, everyone is different. You shouldn’t feel under pressure to make decisions about the future of your career until you feel the time is right. Assess your skills, your drivers and your ambition, and then find a career to match – there are plenty of opportunities in the market for workers who are open to taking them.”

The study has also highlighted a trend that HR leaders and hiring managers should be aware of: the rise of temporary workers. In a time of upheaval and uncertainty, 54 per cent of respondents stated they had or would consider taking a temp role to support their career change process. 41 per cent said this approach to the journey offered them greater flexibility, and a further 27 per cent said it can help build opportunities and experience in other industries.

Doug Rode added: “Today’s workers have more agency and confidence than ever before, and our new research shows how this is reflected in their career choices. The previous blueprint of a linear career path has been largely consigned to history. Today’s workers are prioritising their own fulfilment at work and are more open than ever to pivoting if something feels more aligned to their values.

“Post-pandemic, we have created a unique landscape where workers have access to so many different opportunities,” concluded Rode. “Today, it’s normal to hop between jobs until you land on the right one. It’s easier than ever to move between temporary and permanent roles in a bid to try out a new function or industry. Opportunity is out there, regardless of what age you are – there’s always time to change up your path and find a career that puts a spring in your step each day.”


Stay up to date

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