SINGAPORE – The career-for-life is vanishing.

Human resources firm, Kelly Services, says more than half of all Singaporean respondents to its Global Workforce Index say they expect to switch careers within the next five years.

The main cause (32 per cent) is the need for higher income, followed by changing personal interests (25 per cent) and the need for improved work-life balance (25 per cent).

The industry sectors in which employees will face the greatest likelihood of career change are Government, engineering and information technology.

Some 900 workers in Singapore were polled for the index which covered 30 countries.

Kelly Services Managing Director for Singapore and Malaysia, Melissa Norman, said it’s a reflection of shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, as well as changing personal interests on the part of employees.

One sign of the shifting attitude to career interruption is that 68 per cent of those surveyed believe they could resume their career at the same level after taking a break for such things as maternity or paternity leave, illness or an extended holiday.

Baby boomers (aged 48-65) are the most confident of resuming their career following a break, with 70 per cent confident they can do so, compared with 69 per cent of Gen Y (aged 18-29), and 66 percent of Gen X (aged 30-47).

Close to 90 per cent of respondents say they aspire to an executive position.

And almost all say that it is either "extremely important" or "important" that qualifications and skills be upgraded in order to progress in their career.

Ms. Norman said more organisations are providing up-skilling, training and development programs as part of their talent attraction and retention initiatives.



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