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Half of twenty-somethings considering career switch

10 May 2022 Magda Duerinckx Employers

One in three workers wants to change career direction. Twenty-somethings in particular are considering a job in another sector, according to a survey of more than 2,000 working Belgians. Why? What they want is to experience greater meaningfulness, a better work-life balance and/or good pay.

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Covid time = reflection time

During the Covid pandemic, workers were reflecting on their careers. In America, people even talk of The Great Resignation, a phenomenon in which employees voluntarily quit their jobs en masse. This is not – yet – the case in Belgium. Nevertheless, one in three working Belgians is considering changing jobs and sectors. Among young people, this is even one in two. The most important reason for a career change is meaningful/more meaningful work.

In search of meaning

Employees often contemplate their jobs after a period of reflection (such as the summer or Christmas break). The Covid crisis was also a major moment of reflection that led to employees thinking more about their careers.

In today's war for talent, as an employer it's advisable to pay adequate attention to your employees. What energises them in their job? What do they see as meaningful? By engaging in career conversations, you’ll gain insights into this and be able to take it into account. It’s best to hold these career conversations on a regular basis. Otherwise, you risk suddenly facing the unpleasant surprise that your employee wants to leave your company.

Redirecting talent

The search for new talent is time-consuming and intensive. However, you can attempt to avoid that because, if your employee is ready for a new job, that doesn't necessarily have to be with a different employer. Through rematching, you can map the talents and roles in your organisation and respond to the changing needs of your employees. This is a continuous process that pays off: your employees get the chance to take on a new challenge within your organisation, which keeps them in your company longer and motivated. A fine example of sustainable personnel management with attention to the individual needs of your employees. It's a win-win!

Keeping work and personal life in balance

Work-life balance is also a major reason for a career switch. This actually makes sense, given that many employees worked largely from home in recent years. On the one hand, it reduced the daily commute, but on the other hand, it also blurred the line between work and home. Although many organisations have transitioned to a form of hybrid working, it remains important to make proper arrangements.


Wages emerged as the third factor. Nevertheless, remuneration is not just about the take-home pay employees receive. Employees increasingly value other benefits, such as additional days off, fringe benefits, transportation. A flexible pay policy, which meets the individual needs of employees, helps to keep your employees happy and motivated.

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Written by Magda Duerinckx

Managing Consultant Talent Center

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