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Brief Published: 17 Jun 2021

Pandemic Spurs Consumers to Dream of New Careers


A new Microsoft survey reveals that more consumers globally are contemplating major career transitions compared with previous years. There’s big appetite for concepts supercharging Covid-era work aspirations – brands, take note – while existing employers need to think of fresh ways to keep their talent.

  • Prepare for the Pivot: Microsoft’s 2021 report The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready? shows that 41% of global workers are considering leaving their jobs this year and 46% are planning a major career transition. Reasons cited include digital burnout, fewer networking or career advancement opportunities and having a new calling. The pandemic has made employees reflect on what they truly want and, with the social side of office life stripped away, it’s throwing job satisfaction into starker focus.
    Businesses will need to strategise internally on how to retain talent and meet the needs of the post-pandemic workforce. For more on workers’ new-era career concerns, look out for New Adulthood Decoded (publishing June 28) and Parenting Gets Real (July 5), both part of our Post-Covid Consumer Life Cycle.
  • Women Lead the Switch: Female employees have endured disproportionate professional setbacks because of the pandemic (see What Women Want). But far from disillusionment, new research suggests many are now motivated to change how they work. According to a survey from UK professional women’s network AllBright, 61% of women are dreaming of a complete career change and three quarters hope to start their own business. One in four of respondents had already started on the launch of a new venture (AllBright, 2021).
    Publishing, health and fitness are the most popular sectors these female entrepreneurs plan to expand into, closely followed by recruitment, beauty and finance. Brands should consider ways to support these new career aspirations.
    For our coverage on consumers embracing entrepreneurship during the pandemic, see The Brief.