Browse Adzuna Blog »

1 in 4 Brits considering a career change for 2021

2020 has been an annual horribilis for the jobs market, with redundancies rising to record levels, months of furlough uncertainty for many, and hiring in some sectors – like Hospitality – practically grinding to a halt.

It may therefore come as no surprise that as the end of the year approaches, many workers are starting to think of a career change. For many, this is a necessity, not a choice.

But there are reasons to remain optimistic. At the time of writing, there are nearly 700,000 job openings available on our UK site. 

We’ve also launched a new CareerPaths tool to help jobseekers considering a career change discover viable job options based on their skill set. Read on to find out more.


New Year, New Job?

We surveyed 1,900 UK workers between June and December 2020 to reveal the number of Brits looking for a career change in the New Year.

In answer to the question ‘Are you considering a career change for 2021’ 6.8% of respondents said they are ‘definitely looking to change career’ in 2021, 7.2% of respondents said they would ‘consider changing career’ in 2021, and a further 11.0% said they ‘wouldn’t rule it out’. In total, this means 1 in 4 UK workers (25.0%) are considering a career change for 2021.

UK employment currently sits at 32.5million according to the ONS, meaning over 2.2million workers are ‘definitely’ likely to change career in 2021 and over 8.1million may be considering a career move.

Our research also found men have more bullish attitudes to pivoting careers than women: 10.4% of male respondents stated they are ‘definitely looking to change career’ in 2021, compared to only 4.0% of women.

Furthermore, Covid-19 has shifted opportunities within the UK jobs market, with hiring activity in sectors like Logistics & Warehouse booming, up 76.5% from pre Covid-19 levels to over 61,000 vacancies. But simultaneously, other sectors have suffered. Hospitality & Catering vacancies remain 69.1% below pre Covid-19 levels, equating to tens of thousands of ‘lost’ job opportunities. Similarly, the Charity & Voluntary sector and the Sales sector are suffering significantly reduced hiring, down 46.9% and 42.1% from pre Covid-19 levels respectively, forcing many workers to consider changing career.


Portfolio Career: Work several part-time jobs and enjoy your life


Hospitality, Retail and Travel workers feel least secure about their work

We also uncovered significant job insecurity among UK workers, particularly among sectors hardest hit by Covid-19.

Only 14% of Travel workers feel secure in their job, with low proportions of workers in the Hospitality sector (14%) and Retail sector (19%) reporting job security. Overall, 44% of UK workers felt their job was under threat from Covid-19, with 37% reporting job insecurity.

There is also huge demand for more support when switching roles. Seven in ten (70%) jobseekers said they don’t have enough practical support and wouldn’t feel comfortable applying for a new job as the UK economy remains uncertain. This is worrying, given the record high levels of redundancies experienced over recent months.



Adzuna launches CareerPaths tool

In response to these factors, we’re launching new tool called CareerPaths to help jobseekers explore career options.

Supported by Nesta and the Department for Education, the cutting-edge AI tool matches jobseekers to viable future career paths and live jobs based on their experience and skills, drawing on learnings from over 30m live and archived vacancies.

If you’re looking for a new job, have recently been made redundant, are on furlough, or are just curious about how your skills match to companies hiring in 2021, it’s well worth checking out. By simply inputting a current job title or set of skills, CareerPaths will help you understand your transferable skills and choose a suggested career path based on your profile and who’s hiring.

Here’s what our friends at Nesta had to say about the new tool:


Rhys Herriott, Programme Manager at Nesta Challenges, comments: “Nesta Challenges launched the CareerTech Challenge seeking innovations to support those in roles most at risk of dramatic labour market shifts, such as automation. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now more critical than ever that people are able to adapt to changing job markets. We are thrilled to support our innovators, including Adzuna, as they develop much needed transformational tech, providing people with the information and tools they need to navigate an ever-changing and complex world of work.”


The major redistribution of the job market we’ve seen this year will mean many jobseekers will need to pivot careers to find a new role for 2021. If this is you, understanding the viable options and industries that are hiring (and growing) can help future proof your career. And understanding skills and how they translate from sector to sector can help you know which jobs to apply for.


For more information on how to use CareerPaths, head to our blog: