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Many Canadians say they want a new job, experts say 'intention' is key

A career psychologist says the time is now for many who have been staying put throughout the pandemic despite a lack of enjoyment
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According to a report from recruitment firm Robert Half, half of Canadians said they’re on the lookout for greener pastures — a new job in 2023.

The number is a major increase from only 21 per cent who said they wanted a new job in 2021, and from 31 per cent in a report from over six months ago.

About 62 per cent of respondents want a higher salary, 39 per cent want better benefits and perks, and 30 per cent would like better advancement opportunities. Lastly, 27 per cent of respondents would like to choose when and where they work.

A career psychologist says the time is now for many who have been staying put throughout the pandemic despite a lack of enjoyment.

“People were stuck in their basements working away, and I think, there were — just based on the way that the pandemic played out — less things people could do to distract themselves from the fact that they weren’t feeling really fulfilled,” said Joel Wilkinson, executive coach and leadership consultant with The Success Group Inc.

“So many people are in a place where … they’re really considering, ‘what am I doing with my career and with my life and what do I want the next years to look like for myself?'”

When it comes to which group of people are more likely to make a career move, those that have been with a company for around two to three years are most likely at 61 per cent.

Andrea Bartlett is the vice president of the human resources company Humi. She says the economy is also playing a huge role, and people also want jobs that fit better in their lifestyle.

“They’re unhappy with their total compensation package. There is a misconception that folks think it’s only the base salary,” Bartlett said.

“Businesses have made the decision to be forced hybrid, hybrid or completely back in office now – so understanding the flexibility and how our lives have changed in the pandemic has led to folks really looking for that flexibility.”

A large amount of those wanting to change careers said they want to do it in the next six months.

Jeremy Shaki is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the re-skilling company Lighthouse Labs. He says not only should a career change be for the right reasons, but people should also be realistic.

“I see more people who want to re-skill and change up their careers struggle with that timing for change to happen as one of the major contributors where they don’t succeed,” Shaki said.

“It is not always greener on the other side, and knowing what you want to do and being intentional, becomes really important.”

Shaki says while a standard cover letter and resume are still appropriate – passion is the key ingredient, and showing you have it by researching and even trying out the skillset through networking and online courses or research, will show you will love what you do. Wilkinson agrees, saying following happiness is the best way forward.

“Be open to looking at what might be a path for me that might be more fulfilling and meaningful and enable me to really enjoy my life holistically,” Wilkinson said.

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