Does loving your job still make you likely to leave it?

Posted in Latest News on 16 Feb 2024

Climie Fisher and Michael Ball said that Love Changes Everything, but does that sentiment extend to the legal sector? Are people still wanting to change roles that they love?

Here at Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment, we publish a yearly salary survey that examines the legal marketplace and looks at salaries, benefits, working times, and more. This year’s survey is coming very soon, but before then, we thought we would tease you with an exciting set of statistics around sentiment. And with Thursday being Valentine’s Day, traditionally a day of love, we wanted to look at what people are currently feeling about their job roles.

Looking at the active job pool first (that is, the people actively searching for a job role), 50% of respondents to our survey said they were not happy with their job. This makes sense, of course – people wanting to move are generally doing it because their current job isn’t giving them the satisfaction they are looking for. But what is particularly interesting is the percentage of people who love their work and are still looking for another role. 24% of people in the active talent pool said they loved their work (with 26% feeling neutral about it), which does throw up some interesting questions. After all, wouldn’t people want to stay in a job they love? Why move? Well, some of the reasons behind changing roles are complicated, and being in love with your work isn’t the only factor people have to consider. There are also considerations about money, progression, culture, and even what might be termed ‘outside’ factors, such as commute or relocation. People may love their job roles but feel like they have no choice but to leave.

It’s also worth looking at the talent pool slightly more broadly, as it, too, throws up some interesting numbers. The passive market has a high number of people who love their work, with 53% of respondents saying they loved their job role, and only 19% of people saying they didn’t. However, the number that particularly stands out is those who were neutral – 28%. This group, together with the 19% of people who aren’t enjoying their jobs and are passive in the market, might be the group that makes up the future active job seekers. So, it’s worth watching this group, especially as it has risen from last year’s total of 31%. Regarding the inactive market, the numbers are more along the lines you would expect: 81% are happy with their jobs, 12% are not, and 7% are neutral. These numbers are broadly in line with what you might expect from this group, and it is reassuring to see that most people aren’t just staying in work because they are comfortable or for some other reason.

It’s essential to at least enjoy your job – and it’s good to see the stats reflecting so many happy people at work. However, it is clear that loving your job doesn’t always mean you will want to stay in your role, and there are numerous reasons why you could be looking for a new job while loving your current one. It’s an interesting trend, and it is one that we here at Douglas Scott will continue to monitor.

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