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Have you got itchy feet?

Posted on from Robert Walters

Think you need to switch employer to move forward in your career? If so, you are among the majority of your peers, says Colin Loth.

How often should you switch roles?

If you’re an HR specialist, it’s likely that you think frequently moving employers is key to your career progression. According to the results of our Career Lifestyle Survey of 1,420 HR professionals around the UK, 52% of you believe you should change at least every three years, significantly higher than the average of 42% among all professions. Fewer lawyers (32%), sales people (33%) and treasurers (36%) think they should move jobs this frequently.

Clearly, most of you feel that changing employers is the best way of developing your professional expertise, and that doing so gives you a variety of experience that you simply do not get by staying with the organisation for a number of years. For example, your CV will generally look stronger if you’re able to demonstrate that you have worked across a variety of sectors and experience in businesses of different sizes. The same can be said for specific HR disciplines.

Are you motivated by money?

But when thinking about your next move, you are least motivated by money. Only 32% of the HR professionals we surveyed said that remuneration and benefits is ‘very important’ to their job satisfaction, compared with a UK-wide average of 42%. Instead, work/life balance (62%) and an interesting job (55%) are considered more critical. This further endorses the fact that it’s career progression and an interesting challenge that are the key driving forces behind most of your decisions to move jobs.

When it comes to working hours, you are putting in more time than you were two years ago. In total, 27% of our survey respondents are now working more than 50-hour weeks, compared with 26% the last time we conducted this research two years ago. However, if you are in a full-time role, you will, on average, work exactly the same amount of time as the national average (44.6 hours). So, relatively speaking, you have a reasonable work/life balance, but you work longer than accountants (44.3 hours) and IT specialists (43.7 hours) do.

Adding real value

Our survey also suggests that you believe your work is of significant value. Of the respondents, 82% say their personal achievements impact the broader success of the business, compared with 74% of workers across the whole of the UK. With the HR function becoming increasingly more commercial, this comes as no real surprise. These figures provide evidence that HR departments think they are adding discernible value to how organisations operate and ultimately positively impacting the bottom line. The challenge going forward is proving this to the rest of the business, which is what employers are consistently looking for when hiring you at any level of the HR profession.

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