Despite COVID-19 restrictions and the ensuing dip in the labour market and hiring rates, three in 10 UK professionals have changed jobs over the past year. 

According to new data by TopCV, almost a third (30 per cent) of professionals in the UK have switched jobs since the pandemic began.

Of this number, just under two in five workers (38 per cent) reported completely changing roles, industry and company. However, around a fifth (20 per cent) remained at the same company but chose to change roles.

The research found that this movement of workers between jobs and companies can be traced back to the pandemic and its effects. The vast majority of employees (75 per cent) stated that COVID-19 had affected their career plans.

Previous research found that it was young people primarily who felt forced to put their careers on hold due to COVID. In addition, over a fifth (21 per cent) of young people felt even more confused about their career paths due to the pandemic.

In this survey, half of the people who had their career plans affected stated that this time caused them to reflect on what they wanted from their career or employer, prompting them to look for other job opportunities.

However, this choice being present was not the same for all employees. Of those who did decide to change jobs, over a third (34 per cent) did so after being made redundant or being placed on furlough.

In addition, a further fifth of respondents (18 per cent) stated they have been pushed to look for work outside their field or industry until the market recovers.

Childcare responsibilities also encouraged under one in 10 parents (8 per cent) to find a new role which offers them more flexibility.

When accounting for the employees who chose to move jobs or companies, the most popular fields for their next role were operations and general management (18 per cent), healthcare (15 per cent) and engineering and construction (14 per cent).

Amanda Augustine, Careers Expert at TopCV, commented:

Whether COVID-19 forced certain individuals to look for work in different industries or it ultimately prompted others to reconsider their work-lives and seek a change, we’ve seen a noticeable uptick in professionals making career pivots over the past year, and that trend has continued into 2021.


*Between 10 February and 10 March 2021, TopCV surveyed 3,462 UK professionals actively seeking work.