SINGAPORE (Oct 30): New job market entrants and seasoned professionals alike are becoming increasingly open to the idea of making the leap into an entirely new career, according to new research from recruitment firm Monster.com.

The survey comes as part of the firm’s wider #IMadeTheSwitch campaign which polled more than 2,400 respondents across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines on their reasons for and awareness of career transitioning across Southeast Asia.

Based on its findings, 60% of Singaporean respondents said they were presently job hunting within their field. An even larger proportion of 79% say they would consider switching to an entirely new role outside their comfort zone for the sake of securing “the best job”.

The number one reason for embarking on a career switch is financial stability, with a third (30%) of Singaporeans seeking salary increases. Notably, 22% said they were concerned about a lack of growth and opportunities for upward mobility in their current fields.

42% of mid-career professionals polled in Singapore no longer found their chosen field desirable as they felt underpaid, while 26% simply said their chosen field was not what they expected it to be.

In particular, Monster.com highlights these grievances as important considering how 36% cited personal fulfilment and passion as their primary motivation for working, while another 34% valued the need to contribute to their household incomes.

For more senior professionals with at least 15 years of experience, a whopping 85% said they planned to switch career paths either immediately or in the near future. This is largely attributed to a strong desire to do something more purposeful and challenging, as indicated by 54% of senior professional respondents.

Even fresh entrants to the Singaporean workforce appear to be shopping around, with 53% saying they wanted to “explore their options” beyond their recent field of study. Lack of experience and qualifications, however, remain the largest concerns in their case.

Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO, Monster.com – APAC & Gulf, notes that the stigma of job-hopping or making a career switch is “slowly waning” as he believes it is no longer an expectation of professionals to remain in a field they chose to study for 10, or even five years.

“It’s also telling that Singaporeans believe the act of switching careers is ‘brave’ (43%), ‘commendable’ (28%) and ‘impressive’ (16%). Only 13% said it sounded ‘risky’ and just 1% consider it ‘irresponsible’ to switch paths. This shows wide acceptance for making the switch and taking charge of your professional future,” says Mukherjee.