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Covid-19 prompts financial services workers to consider career change

The pandemic has reportedly prompted a “bout of soul searching” among financial services workers, with 44% now considering a career change, according to new research by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission.

According to KPMG, 31% of respondents said they would be looking for new roles within the year, despite the uncertainty of the job market in the year ahead. 

The trend was recorded across other UK industries, however, with 46% of workers across all sectors now considering new roles as a result of the pandemic.

Among financial services workers looking for a career change, 13% said they would not choose the sector again for their next career move. This figure rose to 16% amongst 18-30 year olds. 

For respondents who didn’t want to work in the sector again, 15% cited long hours, 13% cited long commutes and 9% cited heavy regulation as key factors driving their decision.

Nonetheless, the survey showed the sector has “retained its reputation for strong remuneration and career progression”. 

When citing top drivers towards the sector, 54% cited competitive salaries, while 35% cited good employee benefits, such as insurance and private healthcare. Among under 30s, 31% said that progression opportunities were a key attribute  attracting them to the sector.

Karim Haji, head of financial services at KPMG UK, said: “As we spend more time at home away from our colleagues and offices, it makes sense that many will be questioning their current roles and choices – and what the future might hold. 

“With so many considering a career change, Financial Services must take this time to promote itself positively and wipe the slate clean when it comes to the associations people make with it, if it is to be genuinely competitive for talent.”

He added: “Positively, some of the work on this is already underway. The pandemic has spurred many Financial Services firms to make positive changes and ditch some of their more conservative employee policies in line with other sectors. 

“This will go far in tackling misperceptions of the industry and help it attract more diverse employees, as well as retain current talent.”

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