COVID-19 pandemic has 1 in 4 Canadians thinking about switching careers

Winnipeg HR expert Barbara Bowes says people often consider a career change at this time of year.
Winnipeg HR expert Barbara Bowes says people often consider a career change at this time of year. Source: Legacy Bowes

A recent poll on the mental health of Canadians since the pandemic began suggests one in four are considering a career change.

According to Morneau Shepell’s monthly Mental Health Index, 24 per cent of those polled say the pandemic has caused them to reconsider their career path.

Those numbers are not surprising to human resources expert Barbara Bowes of the LegacyBowes group, but she doesn’t think the pandemic alone is causing the trend.

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“December and January are the typical time when individuals start reflecting and setting their goals for the new year,” she said. “Often one’s career is a big part of that.”

The report, released Wednesday, shows the COVID-19 pandemic has “significantly impacted” Canadians’ relationships with their employers. One in five poll respondents said their opinion of their boss has worsened during the pandemic.

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Bowes says that’s likely because some employers did not adapt well to the pandemic.

“A lot of organizations had difficulty getting equipment, or difficulty getting direction on what they should do and who should do it.” Bowes told Global News. “Some organizations just did not handle it well.”

On the positive side, 72 per cent of poll participants said their employer had done a good job with health and safety since the beginning of the pandemic, something Bowes says is important in retaining valuable employees.

“It all boils down to how employers handled the COVID crisis when it hit,” she said, “and how they are continuing to deal with COVID-19 as they go forward.”

Morneau Shepell’s monthly Mental Health Index is based on an online survey with 3,000 responses collected between Oct. 25 and Nov. 5. All respondents reside in Canada and were employed within the last six months.

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