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Sharon is one of millions of Aussies quitting their jobs this year - here’s why

Sharon Herrera is one of the many Aussies changing jobs this year.

Millions of Aussie workers are looking to change jobs this year, as cost-of-living pressures mount and a desire for better work-life balance continues.

Melbourne resident Sharon Herrera is set to start her new job as a business manager at an in-home disability and aged-care service next week.

“I had my son six months ago and I was looking at returning back to work after the Centrelink payments finished, with the rising cost of living,” Sharon told Yahoo Finance.

Sharon Herrera changing jobs
Sharon is one of millions of Aussie professionals set to change jobs this year. (Source: Supplied)

Do you have a story to share? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

Before going on maternity leave, the new mum was working full-time in a business-development role for an events furniture-hire company. She said flexibility and better work-life balance were the main factors driving her to change jobs.

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“The ability to work from home was big for me - not as a permanent arrangement but the ability to do that when I need to. It’s also close to home and there is flexibility around the hours of work,” Sharon said.

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She decided to return to work on a part-time basis and said she’d been able to secure comparable pay in her new job, something she said was important given her skyrocketing mortgage repayments and the added costs of having a newborn. She previously worked in a casual position, before officially resigning from her former job this year.

“The wage was definitely a consideration because I can be more flexible with the amount of hours that I’m working while still trying to keep up with the cost of living,” she said.

Sharon Herrera
Work-life balance and pay were big considerations for her making the switch. (Source: Supplied)

Higher wages driving change

New research from LinkedIn found 76 per cent of professionals were considering changing jobs in 2024, up 15 per cent, year on year.

Higher wages was the main factor (49 per cent) driving workers to make the change, the survey of 1,000 workers found, followed by a desire for a better work-life balance (33 per cent).

LinkedIn’s career expert, Cayla Dengate, said job seekers had been a bit more “cautious” about switching jobs in previous years, with trends like the ‘Great Stay’ rising in prominence last year.

“What we’re hearing [now] is that people want to reclaim their careers,” Dengate told Yahoo Finance. “They are tired of waiting for the economic conditions to change.

“They’ve done some soul searching and they’ve realised that now is the time to get the job they want and the role that is on the path to their eventual dream position.”

Wages and work-life balance were the two top considerations for workers for the past couple of years, Dengate noted, but bigger pay packets had now taken the top spot, thanks to cost-of-living pressures.

The desire for better work-life balance has also carried through from the pandemic, and Dengate said the platform was seeing more employers embracing this, including by offering four-day work weeks, the ability to buy additional leave and flexible working hours and locations.

Job seekers face tougher competition

While more job seekers are looking to make the switch, they face tougher competition for roles. LinkedIn found job searches on its platform had increased by 16 per cent, year on year, in 2023, compared to 2022.

Meanwhile, data from SEEK found applications per job ad had risen by 6 per cent, month on month, on its platform in November.

“For those people who are job seeking right now, look to brush up on your skills and stand out when you know there are a lot of people applying for jobs,” Dengate recommended.

“Some professionals are telling us that they are trying new formats like video and digital resumes. Others are keeping up with their social media and online personas to make sure they’re putting themselves out there, and being more active in growing their professional network.”

Dengate also encouraged job seekers to be “open minded” about the industry, specialities and companies they applied for and to see if their skills were transferable.

Sharon, who heard about her new job via word of mouth, said focusing on her transferable skills - including in sales, business development and management - helped her stand out and land her a role in a different industry.

“I think that’s the important thing - focusing on your transferable skills as opposed to focusing on the gaps you have with the job role. Put your best foot forward,” Sharon said.

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