Turns out, people are more likely to change jobs when they are younger and well-educated.
A team from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the University of East Anglia in the UK analysed and compared the effects of individual characteristics and the economic context on career mobility.
They investigated what is more important for people to change their job - the current unemployment rate, their personal openness to new experiences, their age at the time of the job change, or their level of education.
They found that both individual characteristics and the labour market are factors in career mobility. Contrary to the researchers' initial prediction, people's openness to new experiences did not play a role in them wanting to change their jobs. However, higher levels of education and a lower unemployment rate were related to changing organisation, but unrelated to going into another occupation.
Study co-author Dr Dana Unger, a lecturer in organisational behaviour in UEA's Norwich Business School, said: "Whether individuals make a career transition depends undoubtedly on a range of factors. Our findings have immediate practical implications by improving our understanding of opportunities and hindrances for different kinds of career mobility."
The researchers looked at different types of job changes to determine whether people are changing organisations, the industries they are working in, or even occupations. They surveyed 503 management programme alumni about their career histories dating back up to 44 years, level of education, and openness to new experiences.
They also investigated the effect of yearly changes in the unemployment rate on mobility to address the economic context in which careers unfold. The full findings are published in the journal- European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.