Amid long-term global job market uncertainties, remote-working may have caused people to re-evaluate their career plans and basic assumptions about careers.

How have the year-long events of the global COVID-19 pandemic affected peoples’ perceptions of their job and career? What motivations have changed, and how are they maintaining a fair work-life balance and pursuing a better salary or benefits package?

To find out people how people were coping with the massive uncertainties in the job market, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky commissioned a small survey of more than 8,000 small and medium-sized-firm employees (with no more than 250 employees) across 18 countries: Brazil, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

The figures in the survey seem to indicate that people still harbor ambitions despite the massive global upheaval.

More time to reevaluate career plans?

While 48% of respondents preferred to remain in their current position, others still felt emboldened to reconfigure their workdays to fit better around their personal lives. Amid lockdowns and remote-working, these respondents also had more time to reflect on their future careers, upskill or learn something new. For this group:

  • The biggest motivator to try a new job was to achieve a better salary (49%). Creating a better work-life balance was the second most frequent reason (41%).
  • The pandemic revealed the joy of spending more time at home with the family, and gave people more opportunities to pursue personal interests and hobbies. Employees in this group may want to keep this opportunity unlocked.
  • After salary and personal comfort, looking for a role that is worthwhile and more meaningful was the third most important reason given (35%). It may be that the events of 2020 allowed employees to rethink their current work and realize the value of their time and what they want to spend it on.

Sergey Martsynkyan, Head of B2B Product Marketing, Kaspersky, commented: “By rethinking their desires and capabilities, people will create a new working reality. Either changing job or staying in their current roles, they will strive to maintain the benefits of remote work and more comfortable settings. To achieve this, employees need to apply the appropriate attitude, learn to be flexible, and work smarter. And of course, they need to organize their working environment and take responsibility for its reliability and security. After all, this can even become a competitive advantage in employers’ eyes.”