These Factors Contribute to the Desire to Change Careers

Young professionals and veterans with many years of experience alike are very much familiar with changing careers. We look at what drives them to do so and what can be done about it.

Did you know that the average employee turnover rate is at 18%? While this figure varies between industries, employee turnover will always be a concern for companies that want to retain their top-performing employees.

In fact, here in the Philippines, a survey by shows concerning numbers that should serve as a warning to companies. Believe it or not, a whopping 88% of Filipinos are actually considering not only leaving their current jobs but also switching to another industry altogether

Given this, it is important for companies to understand why employees want to voluntarily leave so that they can take the appropriate steps to keep their employees happy and content. And although general inferences can be made about why employees voluntarily resign, the factors that drive them actually differ for different age groups.

In this article, we delve into what drives people to change careers, along with measures that companies can do to make their employees stay.

What Drives the Desire to Leave

“The prospect of a career change is worrying for a majority of the workforce in the Philippines, but it’s also the most desirable option to earn more money and explore opportunities beyond what they have studied,” explains Abhijeet Mukherjee, the CEO of for the Asia Pacific and Gulf regions. 

In fact, numbers show that 54% of Filipinos are considering a switch in careers in order to get better salaries and move closer to attaining financial stability. Aside from this, there are also other factors that contribute to the desire to switch careers—particularly for new entrants to the labor force, mid-career professionals, and industry veterans.’s survey also notes that for 66% of young professionals who are new entrants to the labor force, another career will give them a chance to acquire new skills that can help them earn a good living. 

On the other hand, for mid-career professionals or those who have already gone beyond the entry-level stage but are not nearing the end of their careers, 58% are willing to switch careers for a better salary. 48% of these professionals actually feel like they are underpaid. Meanwhile, 43% of mid-career professionals feel that their current jobs do not meet their expectations, which motivates them to leave and look for better employment. 

As for professionals with over 15 years of experience, a staggering 89% of them actually plan on switching careers very soon or in the near future. 38% of them are motivated by the desire to do something that actually challenges them and gives them more purpose. 

What Companies are Doing to Get Their Employees to Stay

Companies in the Philippines, according to Mercer, are very much aware of the high employee turnover rate and the factors that contribute to an employee’s decision to leave. 

HR leaders representing 66 companies who participated in Mercer’s survey “said they are looking to improve the employee experience for key talent (76%), improve their total rewards strategies (68%), rethink compensation structures (65%), and deliver on total well-being (65%) this year.”

Some measures that companies in the Philippines have been doing to get their employees to stay include:

Flexibility and Financial Stability

In response to employees’ need for flexibility and financial stability, 74% of the companies surveyed by Mercer said that they actually provide flexible working options for all their employees. Very timely too, given that work-from-home setups have become the norm since the pandemic, and many employees prefer this or a hybrid work setup, should the need to go to the office arise.

When it comes to compensation, “48% of companies in the Philippines (versus Asia’s 26%) are using bonuses instead of base salary to increase employee’s total compensation package, while 35% (versus Asia’s 29%) are implementing adjustments across the entire workforce,” says Mercer. 

Employee Well-Being 

As for employee well-being, almost all respondents (97%) of Mercer’s survey are focusing on introducing or improving benefits that matter to employees’ physical, mental, and social well-being. In fact, 65% of employers have made concrete steps to address the stigma of mental health, and 53% of companies have redesigned work cultures to accommodate no-meeting days and balanced workloads. 

However, it should be noted that gig or freelance workers do not necessarily get to enjoy these benefits. Numbers show that only 28% of employers are able to provide job security for freelancers.

Skill Development and Training

Lastly, skill development and training play a huge role in retaining employees, particularly young professionals who believe they are not adequately skilled just yet. 

“Employers in the Philippines outperformed their Asian counterparts in learning and development programs as they proactively nudge employees to undergo training (71% versus Asia’s average of 60%) and have a clear understanding of overall talent development needs (63% versus Asia’s average of 56%),” says Mercer. 

There is still room for improvement as Mercer notes that companies in the Philippines should review talent mobility opportunities, as well as adopt and even leverage tools and technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). 

At the Heart of It is Communication

At the end of the day, employee needs and concerns will not be addressed if there is no open and constant communication with the company. Likewise, company programs aimed at improving employee experience will not cater to their actual needs if these are not communicated to them properly. 

This highlights the importance of a safe line of communication between the company and its employees. After all, this is something every company should have in order to keep employees feeling protected and cared for by their employers. Likewise, open communication allows companies to have a firm grasp and idea of what makes their employees happy. 

Employees fear retaliation for airing their grievances and needs, so it is important that the avenue of communication is governed by respect for all parties involved—just as having an open mind that is receptive to different points of view is important.