By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4) – As many people head back to the office post-pandemic, a large number are looking to make a career change in pursuit of better work-life balance. A survey by Prudential Financials’ “Pulse of the American Worker” found one in four workers plan to look for new opportunities as the pandemic subsides.

It is a trend local career training organizations are seeing as well. In fact, Don Strankowski with Ascend Career Solutions and Life Strategies in Denver says 80% of his clients are looking to make that change.

“They’re in a position right now but they want to do something different,” he explained. “They’re not sure how to do it or what that is, but there has definitely been an increase in this in the last few months.”

Strankowski said there is a wide variety of reasons why people may be looking to make a change. The top reasons he’s hearing include concerns about where a company is headed and concerns over COVID-19 protocols and safety. But more importantly, he says the pandemic has succeeded in highlighting the things workers value most.

“If I’m going to spend 60% of my life engaged in some sort of work activity, I want it to count, I want to feel good about it, I want to make a difference, I want to use my best skills,” he said. “That is what we are hearing from people.”

Strankowski said a lot of people are looking for more flexibility.

“If I have to take my child to the doctor or if I want to leave early to catch their soccer game, I want to be able to do that, if I can make it up at some other time,” he said.

Strankowski said that right now so many industries are facing a labor shortage that the job market is hot.

“There are 54% more positions available right now real-time versus Jan. 1 of this year,” he said. “It’s not going to stay this way, but if someone is looking to make a change, now is the time to do it.”

He said his top suggestions to navigate a career change include finding what you’re passionate about, assess what skills you bring to the job, and to start networking. For more information and career advice visit ascendcareers.net.

Makenzie O'Keefe