SOURCE: Kelly Services

Kelly Services

August 03, 2011 11:00 ET

Money and Lifestyle Driving Wave of Career Change for Canadian Workers, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ Finds

TORONTO--(Marketwire - Aug 3, 2011) - The career-for-life is vanishing, with almost half of all Canadian respondents saying they expect to switch careers within the next five years, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.

The main causes are the need for improved work-life balance, and changing personal interests (both cited by 24 percent), followed by the need for higher income (23 percent).

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including more than 4,000 in Canada.

"A surprisingly large number of our workforce may be actively considering changing their careers and making a fresh start," says Kelly Services Director of Operations, Carolyn Grossi.

"Twenty years ago, the thought of having to change careers might have been viewed as a crisis, but today, the workforce is much more flexible to the shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, and also reflects a change in personal needs and interests on the part of employees."

One sign of this shifting attitude can be found when looking at career interruption; approximately three-quarters (73 percent) of those surveyed believe they could resume their career at the same level after taking a break for such things as maternity or paternity leave, illness or an extended holiday.

Gen Y (aged 18-29) are the most confident of resuming their career following a break, with 83 percent confident they could do so, compared with 72 percent of Gen X (aged 30-47), and 64 percent of baby boomers (aged 48-65).

Results of the survey in Canada show:

  • The industry sectors in which employees will face the greatest likelihood of career change are Hospitality, Travel/Leisure, and Contact Centre/Customer Service.
  • In determining the most important elements in a person's career -- experience or formal education -- the vast majority (81 percent) nominate experience, while 17 percent cite formal education and 2 percent are undecided.
  • Most respondents (61 percent) say that when looking for a job, the best indicator of a person's talent is their work experience, followed by performance in the job interview (23 percent), job references (10 percent) and education (7 percent).
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) say they aspire to an executive position, while 24 percent do not, and 9 percent are undecided.
  • The main reasons for avoiding executive positions are concerns about pressure and stress, cited by 33 percent, followed by the impact on work-life balance (27 percent), and inadequate skills or education (20 percent).
  • 96 percent say that it is either "extremely important" or "important" that qualifications and skills be upgraded in order to progress their career.

"As individuals take greater control of their careers, there is a likelihood of employees moving in and out of the workforce for both professional and lifestyle reasons. It will be increasingly important that employers and employees learn to adapt to this new workplace reality, where the 'one career' pathway may become the exception rather than the rule," Grossi concludes.

To access the survey results from the Americas, APAC and EMEA, please visit the Kelly Services Global Press Room.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index™
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 97,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA responded to the 2011 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Platinum Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in 2009 for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services®
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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