The Great Career Reshuffling
While a lot of focus around the great resignation has been on people quitting their jobs, the reality is that the vast majority of people are quitting to start a new job – a phenomenon called The Great Reshuffling. But this trend raises an interesting question, how frequently do employees not only change jobs, but change careers, i.e. start a new job in a different field?
Our data, spanning millions of individual careers, allows us to track these changes. Below we show how the average probability of switching careers has changed over time, given a job change.
Next, we see the respective transition probability of changing into another job category, given the current job category and conditional on switching categories. We see that Sales is most frequently transitioned into from all other job categories, perhaps due to the relatively low barriers to starting a job in sales.
In the plot above, we ignore the diagonal. But how likely are workers to undergo a major career change starting from a job category in the first place?
Zooming in on where people go after major career changes, below are the most common destination roles:
Teachers are by far the most common destination for career changers. The rest of the list skews heavily towards jobs with a focus on communication. Medical Reps have gained particular popularity in recent years, especially since the pandemic. Remember when Penny from Big Bang Theory transitioned from being a waitress and failed actress to a successful Medical Rep?
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Below are the most common roles that transition into Medical Rep:
And here are the most common non-medical skills possessed by people who transitioned into Medical Rep after a major career change:
- Over the last 30 years, major career changes have become more frequent, and have especially picked up since 2020.
- Teaching, Communications and Sales-focused roles are particularly popular destinations for career changes, which appear to have relatively low entry costs.
- The non-domain specific skills necessary for occupation changes revolve around services, communication, and leadership.