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Career overhaul for 7 out of 10 Kiwis

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New research released today by New Zealand's leading online job source,, has revealed that 7 out of 10 New Zealanders would consider a complete career overhaul, switching not only jobs but also industries, during their working life.

The findings from the latest SEEK New Zealand Workforce Survey of more than 1,200 Kiwis revealed the reasons people look to change their careers are varied, however two motivating factors stood above the rest.

A change in lifestyle was the biggest motivator for shifting from one occupation to another, with 30% of respondents looking for a better balance in their personal and professional life. Close behind was the promise of increased remuneration, with 25% saying they would change industries for better earning potential.

Decreased satisfaction with current careers (19%) and the desire for greater opportunity (18%) rounded out the list of reasons for occupational shifts.

Janet Faulding, SEEK New Zealand General Manager explains;

"We know that one in two Kiwis are prepared to look for a new role in the next six months, but a complete vocational shift is another thing altogether. Career transitions often require a deeper level of planning and self-evaluation than looking for a new job in your current industry.

"However, the career lifecycle has evolved over time and we're now seeing people work in multiple fields during their working life," she says.

Richard Andrews, former Research and Advertising Manager for a global media company, made a drastic change in search of an improved lifestyle. He is now a Category Manager for a local produce wholesaler, managing the process of importing and trading of bananas from the Philippines.

"I couldn't see myself working in media for another 10 years as I saw it more as a young person's game. The payoff for working longer and longer hours diminished and my goal of ownership just didn't exist in such a big global organisation. I was working someone else's dream and my quality of life got to a level where I wasn't that happy," Mr Andrews explains.

"I had to start from the ground up with my new career; I was out on the floor, picking and packing orders. It wasn't glamorous at all and, at times, I thought, what the hell am I doing? But it's the best thing I could have done - I have never been happier or had a clearer focus."

Another career converter, Jessica Sheffield, made the move from her role as a lawyer at a prominent New Zealand law firm to a position as an Advertising Account Executive in search of greater professional satisfaction and a better working environment, which she saw as having an impact on her life outside of the office.

"I was working on major commercial transactions for some of New Zealand's largest corporations but wasn't stimulated by what I was doing on a day-to-day basis. I craved a more collegial, fun and creative working environment. You spend most of your life working, so I firmly believe that you must get up most days and want to go to work, and I'm really happy with the change," says Ms Sheffield.

However happy, Jessica remains realistic that advertising may not be the last stop on her career journey.

"I am an opportunistic person and tend to grasp any opportunities that come my way - so who knows what the future will bring?" Ms Sheffield says.

At the end of the day, as Ms Faulding explains, finding your career calling is fundamentally a personal thing;

"There's no one formula for the right career for any individual, but if you are looking for a whole new career direction, make a wish list about the things that make you happy, and use that to help guide your job seeking efforts. Keep at it and you'll find it."

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