Money and lifestyle issues driving a wave of career change for Chinese workers - CN

Money and lifestyle issues driving a wave of career change for Chinese workers  − Career stability may be history, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ finds 

(August 4, 2011) The career-for-life is vanishing, with almost three-quarters of all Chinese 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 cause, cited by 32 percent, is the need for higher income, followed by the need for improved work-life balance (30 percent), and current management issues (14 percent).

The findings about career choice and career progression are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including almost 10,000 in China.

“We are seeing a surprisingly large number of people who are actively considering the critical issue of whether they should change their careers and make a fresh start,” said Mark Hall, General Manager, Director PT operations, Kelly China.

“For an earlier generation, a change of career would have been something of a crisis, however today, it is seen as a reflection of shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, as well as changing personal interests on the part of employees.”

One sign of the shifting attitude to career interruption is that more than three-quarters (79 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 X (aged 30-47) and baby boomers (aged 48-65) are the most confident of doing so, with 87 percent of each group confident they could resume their careers following a break, compared with 75 percent of Gen Y (aged 18-29).

Results of the survey in China show:

  • The industry sectors in which employees face the greatest likelihood of career change are Transport/Distribution, Engineering, and Manufacturing.
  • In determining the most important elements in a person’s career – experience or formal education – the vast majority (84 percent) nominate experience, while 15 percent cite formal education and 1 percent are undecided.
  • Most respondents (66 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 (21 percent), education (7 percent), and job references (6 percent).
  • 92 percent say they aspire to an executive position.
  • 99 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. Employers and employees will both need to adapt to this new workplace reality, where the smooth career pathway will be the exception rather than the rule,” Mark concludes.

For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.  


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, 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 Weibo.

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