Business

More than half of Scottish workers plan a pandemic career change



More than half of Scottish workers (53%) intend to make changes to their careers as a result of Covid-19 – an increase of five percentage points since last July (48%).

The research, conducted as part of Aviva’s latest How We Live report, reveals changes range from the relatively minor – such as learning new skills or gaining further qualifications – to switching career path completely.

The proportion of workers intending to find a completely different vocation has increased from 6% to 10%, while those planning to set up their own business has risen from 4% to 6%.

The desire for a completely different career path is the most popular choice for Scottish workers who wish to make changes, along with people hoping to gain new skills or qualifications.

Both are the intention for 10% of the workforce in Scotland.

However, the desire to work from home in Scotland is lower than the rest of the UK, with just 5% planning to find a role which will accommodate home-working.

This compares to 16% of workers in London.

Career ambition

Percentage of Scottish workers July 2020

Percentage of Scottish workers February 2021

I plan to retrain or learn new skills

9%

10%

I plan to reduce my working hours (e.g. full time to part time)

9%

3%

I plan to find a role which will allow me to work from home

7%

5%

I plan to gain more academic qualifications

7%

6%

I plan to find a new role but with the same organisation

6%

6%

I plan to follow a completely different career path

6%

10%

I plan to move companies but stay in the same industry/role

4%

7%

I plan to find a role which helps others or makes a difference to those in need

4%

5%

I plan to set up my own business or work for myself

4%

6%

I plan to increase my working hours (e.g. part time to full time)

3%

7%

I plan to retire

2%

5%

I plan to find employment after losing my job

2%

2%

This latest research also suggests there are an increasing number of people who plan to turn hobbies into income streams.

In July 2020, the first study discovered that 4% of people planned to turn a hobby into a career, while a further 7% saw their hobby as a way of generating a second income stream.

Both of these intentions have increased during the pandemic: now 12% of Scottish adults say they plan to turn a hobby into a second source of income, while 6% hope that a hobby will become a career.

Gareth Hemming, managing director for personal lines at Aviva, commented: “As the pandemic has continued, an increasing number of people have given thought to what they want from their careers and now more than half of Scottish workers would like to make changes to their working lives.”

The data relates to a survey of 4,000 randomly-selected UK adults – of which 303 were in Scotland – carried out by Censuswide between 10 and 15 February 2021.

This is compared to a similar survey of 4,002 UK adults, carried out between 10 to 17 July 2020.

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