Victorians pursue new careers following lockdown upskilling

Victorians pursue new careers following lockdown upskilling

A career shake-up is taking place within the Victorian workforce as new research reveals that three quarters (76%) of professionals are considering a profession change following 2021 lockdowns.

With the disruption of the past two years behind us, it seems young Victorians have been reflecting on their career choices. New research on behalf of the Teach the Future campaign of employed adults found Victorians have either been motivated to or are already considering a career change as a direct result of recent lockdowns.

When it comes to looking for a new role, there are a number of factors that have become more important in the workplace to professionals seeking new challenges. Namely, workplace flexibility (63%), career stability (50%) and growth opportunities (47%) have topped the list for work in a post-pandemic era. 

Yet despite the challenges faced over the past year , remote working and a change to work-life dynamics have come with some benefits, as many Victorians have spent the time honing important skills, which could set them up for success in their new careers.

More than half (54%) of 18-35-year-olds felt lockdowns taught them to be more flexible and adaptable, an essential skill as we ease into a COVID-normal.

When working with others, while professionals pivoted to using digital and video conferencing platforms to work with colleagues and clients, nearly half (46%) actually saw their communication skills improve.

Being more able to manage workloads could also be a benefit for some Victorians as more than a third (41%) experienced an improvement in their time management. 

When considering the experience they’d need for their new jobs, communication (55%), flexibility and adaptability (54%) and teamwork (54%) came out on top as skills that would be the most transferrable.

“For those considering a career change this year, who value career stability and having ample opportunities for growth, I would encourage them to look at teaching as it could be the perfect fit,” Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, said.

“Victorians can transfer their existing knowledge and skills to the profession no matter what stage they are at in their careers.”

When asked about teaching, to almost two-thirds (62%) of Victorians it is seen as a career that would enable them to have a positive impact on the future of young people, while almost half (43%) view it as a stable long-term career that is also emotionally rewarding (40%).

Dimple Bhardwaj, former homeopath turned-Primary School Teacher, said that while the thought of career-changing can be daunting, her decision to take the leap was “definitely worth it”.

“My career started in India in homeopathy, but I was fortunate enough to transfer the skills I had developed in communication and empathy to a career in the classroom. It’s one of the best decisions I've ever made,” she said.

“Coming into teaching after already having another career also made me more adaptable in navigating the classroom and relationship-building with students, which is one of my many favourite aspects of the job.”

This article originally appeared as a media release from the Victorian Government.