Over a third of UK workers will look to start a new career in the next year due to the cost-of-living crisis, with financial services seen as the joint most desirable sector, KPMG research suggests.
After polling 1,500 workers, the researchers found that 35% are considering new careers because of the rising cost of living, up from 31% during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Of those looking to change career, 23% said that they would consider working in financial services, making it the joint most popular sector alongside professional services.
The three most popular reasons why respondents would consider a career in financial services were high salary and bonus expectations, a good work life balance, and that the topic sounds interesting, cited by 58%, 43% and 36%, respectively.
Karim Haji, head of financial services at KPMG UK, said: “Given the rising cost of living and the broader economic uncertainty, it makes sense that many individuals will be considering their current roles, career choices and where they live and work.
“This will provide a great opportunity for financial services firms to target talent, but also make sure that they are better demonstrating the benefits of working in the sector and their improved proposition for employees. Doing so will help firms attract and retain the best talent.”
However, despite being an aspirational sector to work in, the survey also found that 42% of financial services workers will be looking to change careers themselves within a year, although this is down slightly from 44% in 2020.
Among financial services workers looking for a new career, 30% said that they wanted an improved salary and benefits, while 23% wanted more job security, and 20% desired more flexibility regarding working from home arrangements.
The main reason given by individuals who said that they wouldn’t want to work in financial services was a lack of knowledge of the sector and job opportunities, cited by 32% of respondents.
Long hours and the belief that the topic sounds boring were other prominent reasons, mentioned by 23% and 29%, respectively.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many financial services firms have also made positive changes to their working practices, including dropping some of their more conservative employee policies in line with other sectors,” Haji continued.
“This will go some way in tackling outdated perceptions of the industry and help to attract a more diverse workforce.
“There is a huge diversity of roles within the financial services sector, and I’d encourage prospective applicants to do their research and not be put off by old-fashioned stereotypes.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings