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65% of Australians ‘have switched careers’ since school

Changing your career may appear a daunting prospect, but it seems many Australians switch their professions at some point after graduating from school.

Recent figures from recruitment specialist SEEK revealed that 65 per cent of people in the country are doing a different job to the one they intended since completing their education. According to SEEK, the research shows career diversification is now normal for many school leavers.

The organisation said that exams have just finished for Year 12s, with many students feeling the pressure to make big decisions about their job future. However, this choice does not have to dictate an individual’s entire career.

“Aussies, particularly parents, need to wrap their heads around the concept that having many jobs and careers is not a sign of their child’s inability to settle down, or make up their mind,” said Managing Director of Seek Employment Michael Ilczynski.

“It certainly doesn’t give an indication to the likelihood of their career success. Businesses value innovative and fresh thinking, having a broad base of experience equips us with this capability.”

If you are considering a career switch, regardless of your age, an apprenticeship or traineeship can provide you with the skills and qualifications needed to establish yourself in a new industry. Register with Apprenticeship Central to gain access to a range of tools and resources to help you identify the best opportunities.

The benefits of a career change

SEEK’s research showed women are more likely to switch careers than men, with 72 per cent of females opting for a different job than originally intended after leaving secondary school. This compared with 59 per cent of males.

Many organisations are increasingly seeing the benefits of career swaps, as people with experience across a variety of roles and industries can bring unique skills and experience to the workplace. In fact, these employees may offer an entirely new perspective on how enterprises should do business.

Mr Ilczynski said employers are particularly keen to find people who have non-technical qualities, such as resilience, agility and responsiveness. Workers from different industries will also likely know how to use a diverse set of tools and technologies from their time at other firms.

The SEEK research followed recent analysis from Hays Australia that highlighted what characteristics hiring managers will be looking for in 2016.

One of these key traits was adaptability, with Hays claiming organisations need candidates who can keep up with rapidly changing industry environments. Employers will also concentrate on customer experience skills and workforce diversity in the new year.

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