25% of Canadians rethinking career plans – here’s why

Employees are exploring career options as the pandemic pervades work and personal life

25% of Canadians rethinking career plans – here’s why

What does the future hold for Canadians reeling from the COVID-19 crisis? That’s a question some are considering as the pandemic pervades people’s lives and careers at year end.

One in four Canadians (24%) are now rethinking the future of their employment, citing the pandemic as a major reason for them to switch jobs or change careers, a new study from mental health specialist Morneau Shepell showed.

Younger employees (36%) are more likely to consider shifting gears at this point, with those under the age of 40 reportedly exploring their career options amid the crisis. That’s more than double the number of workers over the age of 50 who say they would welcome a career change (15%).

Read more: Holiday blues: How to support staff separated from family overseas

In this period of uncertainty, some Canadians also tend to feel ambivalent about their employers. About one in five say their view of their employers has worsened throughout the pandemic – despite the fact that most workers appreciate their company’s crisis management strategies:

  • 72% believe employers are managing health and safety concerns well
  • 63% – employers are managing technology well
  • 56% – employers are implementing flexible work well
  • 50% – employers are handling remote work well

“Beyond the perception of how employers are handling the pandemic, we’re also seeing that some employees are viewing their employer more negatively than before the pandemic,” said Paula Allen, global leader, research and total wellbeing, at Morneau Shepell.

“This demonstrates that maintaining the status quo is not enough and employers need to take a proactive effort to prioritize communication and put the needs and well-being of employees first in everything they do,” she said.

Read more: Revealed: Five recruitment priorities for 2021

The findings are part of the firm’s latest Mental Health Index, which showed a “consistent negative mental health score” (-11.1) among Canadians for the eighth consecutive month since the COVID-19 crisis began.

“We’re at a pivotal point in navigating the pandemic,” said Morneau Shepell president and CEO Stephen Liptrap.

“On one hand, the recent news about potentially life-saving vaccines being administered in the first half of next year should bring Canadians some encouragement.

“On the other hand, we are also approaching some of the most difficult months of the year for many Canadians as we approach the holidays and winter months,” he said.

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