McDonald’s UK have released new research that shows that almost a third of senior decisions makers are likely to consider a career change in the next five years and 43% of managing directors are thinking about a second career.

The research shows that 25% of senior company executives over the age of 40 are likely to want to follow a new career path, a trend that is traditionally associated with the younger generation.

The key triggers for senior decision makers planning a second career are:

  • Frustration with company decisions such as frequent strategy changes (50%)
  • Unfulfilled personal ambitions (49%)
  • Lack of time with friends and family (40%)
  • Insecurity due to constant corporate reorganisations (34%)
  • Travel demands (30%)

Over half of those surveyed (53%) said that a better work/life balance would make them consider a new role, 44% gave the answer that more control over their working life would also be a prompt to change course and 34% cited the potential to maximise their skills or expertise in a way that isn’t currently possible as a reason to move on.

The results of this research can partly explain why so many change management programmes don’t make it through to completion. If the decision maker that is pushing change and reform initiatives leaves then it can be very difficult to come up with the necessary enthusiasm without their presence. It shows how important it is to keep your workforce engaged in order to prevent burn out or disinterest creeping in to their role. [Click here to read more on employee engagement]

This research was backed by evidence from leading life-coaching business Career Balance. Career coach, Diana Norris said: “We are seeing a growing trend among senior executives who are keen to begin second careers and are seeking our advice – high achievers who don’t necessarily want more, just something different. Despite the uncertainty of heading down a different career path, high achievers want a chance to create success on their own terms, fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions, and take control of their own future.”

McDonald’s conducted the research as a celebration of 30 years since McDonald’s opened its first franchised restaurant in the UK.

Commenting for McDonald’s Franchising, VP for Franchising, Jason Clark said: “Unsurprisingly, at a time when certain macroeconomic trends are causing uncertainty in business, many senior executives are finding themselves wanting a change in direction – a second career. Many of our franchisees were already operating successful businesses before they came to us, whilst others have come from prominent careers in the private and public sectors.