Half of Working Adults Feel Their Career Prospects Have Been Damaged by the Pandemic

A recent study has found that half of working adults believe the pandemic has had a negative impact on their career prospects. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 employed or recently unemployed adults, revealed that nearly one in 10 individuals feel that their industry or sector has become unstable over the past 12 months.

The effects of the pandemic on businesses have led to various challenges for employees, with 8 percent experiencing pay reductions and 11 percent facing reduced working hours. As a result, 10 percent of respondents had to put their plans to change careers on hold, and 7 percent found themselves taking on roles they felt overqualified for.

Financial pressures have also influenced employment decisions, as more than one in 10 individuals took on a job to make ends meet, even if they were previously unemployed. Additionally, 5 percent of self-employed adults transitioned to employed positions for increased financial stability.

Despite these setbacks, the study revealed that 39 percent of respondents have taken positive steps to improve their career prospects. Over half (51 percent) have updated their CVs, 36 percent have undertaken retraining programs, and 27 percent have started their own side businesses or ventures.

The research was commissioned by Santander, which is hosting a virtual careers fair on March 10, 2021, offering over 600 positions in sectors such as technology, engineering, retail, manufacturing, and financial services.

A spokesperson from Santander UK expressed encouragement at the large proportion of individuals who are actively taking measures to enhance their employability. The bank aims to support individuals and businesses in recovering from the pandemic, and the virtual careers fair is expected to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

The study also highlighted that 40 percent of respondents feel “trapped” in their current roles, and 59 percent continue in their current jobs primarily due to financial necessity rather than a genuine passion for their work. Furthermore, the research revealed that 20 percent of individuals wish they had pursued roles in smaller companies, and 32 percent expressed a desire to have started their own businesses. Among university-educated respondents, 43 percent expressed a wish to have gained practical experience through apprenticeships rather than pursuing a degree.

Santander’s virtual careers fair will include sessions on skills development, starting a side business, apprenticeships, career transitions, and the role of sustainability in business. More information about the fair can be found at https://careersfair.santander.co.uk/.

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