To learn more about the job outlook for 2023, Skynova surveyed over 1000 working Americans. We asked about their future employment plans and what they need to achieve their career goals. They shared their motivations behind wanting a new job in the new year and much more.

Looking for a New Job?

The first part of our study provides insight into the type of people who said they'll look for jobs in the new year. It also explains what they want in a job and which industries might have the most job swappers.

New jobs on the horizon in 2023

Two in five Americans said they plan to switch to a new job in 2023. Most were younger Americans, including 51% of Gen Zers (aged 23-25). The next most likely to seek a new job in the new year were millennials (38%), followed by Gen Xers (37%), while baby boomers weren't far behind at 31% – so, people of any age may make the move given the right circumstances. Slightly more men than women reported plans to change jobs, but there was only a difference of seven percentage points between them.

Other findings focused on different industries. Over half of health care workers (54%) said they're ready for a new job – the highest percentage of all. Rounding out the rest of the top five were:

  • Retail (42%)
  • Finance (41%)
  • Tech (39%)
  • Real estate (37%)

So, why do so many want to find somewhere else to work? Moving up the corporate ladder was the top reason given by respondents: 54% said they want a higher position in their next job. Promotions usually lead to better pay, which was the second most common motivation (reported by almost half of respondents). Interestingly, the least important thing to potential job swappers was finding a better work culture (9%).

Reaching for the Stars

Next, we'll focus on people's career goals and the occupations they want most in 2023. We'll also discuss the workplaces of their dreams.

Career goals for 2023

Nearly half of Americans felt confident about reaching their career goals in 2023. They also shared with us what those goals were – and they included a 23% raise, on average. If they don't get it, 54% said they'll quit. Gen Zers were the most optimistic about meeting their career goals (59%), perhaps partly because they were also 57% more likely than all other generations to say they would walk if they didn't get a raise.

The most common goal among respondents was entrepreneurship; a startling 72% said they want to start their own business and be the boss. Should they choose to continue working for someone else's company, 57% want a job promotion, and 48% want a raise. As for occupations, the top three aspirations were all within one percentage point of each other, with the most desired positions in 2023 being in health care, entrepreneurship, and software development.

It's interesting that health care ranked first above other options since most people intent on finding new jobs were already working in that sector. Perhaps they'll look to change positions in the field, such as a better nursing job, or climb the ladder and become CRNAs or nurse managers.

Another intriguing finding across all industries is that 42% believe they aren't making enough money for their role. Of the dissatisfied employees, 54% come from the business industry, which perhaps explains the drive to be a business owner among our respondents. Outside of becoming their own bosses, Americans named Amazon (52%), Apple (37%), Adidas (30%), Google (23%), and Microsoft (21%) as their top dream places to work.

Achieving Career Goals

Saying you want change is one thing; achieving it is another entirely. This section breaks down what people think they need in order to reach their goals in 2023, including some findings about the trending side hustle movement.

Achieving career goals in 2023

So, what will it take for job switchers to reach their goals in 2023? Fifty-three percent said they crave more free time to pursue what they want, while additional funding ranked closely in second place. The remaining top five needs included a mentor, online courses, and higher education. All this could lead to a side hustle, which was the plan for 47% of respondents.

Of the side hustle types they wanted to pursue, the top two were in the retail space. Selling arts and crafts was first, with 28% of Americans saying they plan to sell their creations to the public. Reselling was the next most popular side hustle (27%), followed by being a rideshare driver or freelancer (both 22%).

While 20% of millennials planned to become stock investors, Gen Xers were the most interested in a crypto investing gig. As for the youngest Americans, Gen Zers were 50% more likely than others to pursue influencer or content creator work – despite it being the least popular side hustle overall.

Better Mental Health or a Bigger Paycheck?

With the rising awareness of mental health and increasing inflation costs, which is more important to Americans? Let's see which benefits people find essential and if white-collar and blue-collar workers view things differently.

Mental health vs better pay

While we found that job seekers viewed mental health and a bigger paycheck as nearly equally important, higher pay was slightly more so overall. But the gap between these two options was significantly higher when we asked which they planned to prioritize in 2023; a whopping 83% said they'd prioritize more pay. But despite a bigger paycheck taking priority over mental health, 86% still wanted mental health programs in their workplace.

White-collar and blue-collar workers both chose a bigger paycheck over mental health in large numbers, but the white-collar workers prioritized higher pay more (84% compared to 75%). Baby boomers were the most likely to prioritize bigger paychecks, with 9 in 10 valuing it above mental health. Meanwhile, millennials were 69% more likely than other generations to prioritize mental health instead.

Other top priorities for 2023's potential job seekers included flexible work hours, remote work, and hybrid schedules. This likely indicates that many people don't want a traditional in-person 9-to-5 job five days a week. Remote and hybrid work environments may factor into why child care support benefits ranked last at 14%.

A New Beginning

Many Americans plan to aim for higher wages, extra free time, and leadership roles in 2023. We also uncovered great interest in entrepreneurship and side hustles, as well as remote and hybrid jobs. As the cost of living keeps rising, most people are prioritizing higher pay over their mental health in the coming year – and they're willing to walk if they don't see that raise.

Promoting from within, raising pay, and introducing more flexible work hours or locations may all help keep workers happy. For people taking control of their career through a side hustle or starting their own business, it's important to identify what you want, how you'll achieve it, and what to do when things change course. Still, whether our findings hold true and these Americans decide to follow through with their 2023 plans remains to be seen.

About Skynova Inc.

Skynova is an online financial tool helping small businesses with invoicing, billing, and accounting needs. We also help with daily work and shipment tasks, including timesheets, purchase orders, packing slips, and business proposals.

Methodology

For this campaign, we surveyed 1,014 employed Americans. Among them, 65% were men, and 35% were women. The generational breakdown was 21% Gen Z (aged 23-25), 46% millennials, 22% Gen X, and 11% baby boomers.

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