Confidence is at a high among workers in Ireland, with around 63% planning to change jobs this year, according to a survey hosted by LinkedIn.

Sharon McCooey, head of LinkedIn Ireland, said this renewed confidence stands in marked contrast with the uncertainty that had been dampening the optimism of workers for the past 21 months.

The study of 1,001 professionals in Ireland highlighted that just over a quarter (26%) of workers surveyed said they believe that, by staying in their current jobs, they have potentially missed out on up to €6,000 in additional earnings since March 2020.

Many said they lacked the confidence to change jobs during the pandemic. That sentiment has now shifted significantly, particularly among young professionals.

The survey points to a potential “youthquake” in the Irish labour market. Almost three-quarters of workers with careers of up to two years are considering changing jobs in 2022. Similarly, approximately two-thirds (65%) of professionals with careers between 1-2 years feel confident enough to push for a promotion or new job opportunities at work.

Sharon McCooey said: “What we’re seeing is that the shift in these people looking to change jobs is less about seeking money. When they look back at the past two years, it’s more about them wanting to get to do the things they thought they would be doing by now in their job.

“That shift is even bigger when you look at the younger professionals, where around 75% are ready to move jobs. They thought their jobs would involve more travel, allow them the opportunity to make investments they had wanted to make.

“We are seeing a once-in-a-generational change. People feel that the pandemic held them back. Now they are looking at how they work, where they work, when and why they work. They want their work to serve their soul and to give them purpose.

“One of the big things that people want is flexibility. People want remote and hybrid work, but above all they want to be fully flexible, with work tailored to the individual.

“We are also seeing this with our employees at LinkedIn. People want to know that their employer trusts them to do their work.”

The LinkedIn study also revealed a range of changing attitudes to company benefits in light of the increasing trend of remote working, with access to online training and wellness services, as well as credit for food delivery services such as Deliveroo and JustEat, becoming more attractive than office facilities like gyms or pool tables.

Five top perks sought by workers

The five most desired perks by professionals from prospective new employers are:

  • Access to online training (47%).
  • Credit for food delivery services like Deliveroo or JustEat (40%).
  • Access to online counseling (37%).
  • Subscriptions for mental health apps like Calm (36%).
  • Access to virtual exercise classes or personal trainers (35%).

Sharon McCooey added: “Despite the pandemic, there is a renewed confidence among Irish professionals with many focused on career progression in 2022. With the world of work so rapidly evolving, we’re launching a Jobs Bootcamp to arm people with the tools they need to help them stand out from the crowd and find their next opportunity in 2022.

“These LinkedIn Live sessions will help jobseekers understand how the jobs market is changing with advice from leading industry experts on how to map out your career, grow your network, overcome setbacks and more.”

LinkedIn is hosting a career advice Jobs Bootcamp, with live events on LinkedIn that will offer practical career advice and job-seeking tips from experts. As part of the Jobs Bootcamp initiative, LinkedIn is also unlocking a range of LinkedIn Learning courses to help job seekers build key skills to find their next career opportunity.

  • PHOTO: Sharon McCooey, head of LinkedIn Ireland