By Michelle Roberts, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – A change is taking place in the job market. More workers say they are willing to shake off their recession inspired fears and will be looking for new opportunities in the coming year.

For Andrew Markey, the time for a career change finally seemed right. He left a job in the hospitality industry to head up marketing at “Wyngspan” an Internet start-up in Braintree that rates local businesses for consumers.

“I just think it seems like the economy is turning around in the sense that people are able to find more jobs that are fitting for them,” explained Markey.

Rosy economic news is becoming more common as the job market continues to improve.

“It’s a nice pleasant surprise,” said Rosemary Haefner of “We are seeing some of the positions come back that we haven’t seen in a while . . . some of the training positions, some of what we would consider sort of back office, your finance, your accounting, your marketing.”

A Careerbuilder survey found that 21% of full time workers plan to change jobs this year. That’s up from 17% last year and the highest number since before the recession.

Human resource consultant John Challenger calls this phenomenon a “growing quit rate.”

“It means that people are more confident that they can pick up and leave. They are not going into a job market that’s just impossible and way too risky,” explained Challenger.

It has been a frustrating stretch for people lucky enough to keep their jobs over the past few years: more work with fewer people; small or non-existent raises; and of course the general anxiety of getting laid off.

Tracy Cashman, a vice president at Winter Wyman in Waltham, isn’t surprised more workers are testing the waters. “They’ve done their time in their company because they didn’t feel it was safe out there. They don’t necessarily feel like they are getting the recognition they deserve, and they want to explore a place where they can make more of a difference.”

Cashman also believes some workers are confident enough now to re-balance their work/life balance.

Makeup artist Christine Kasho recently gave up a full-time job so she could freelance. “It is scary and it does make you a little more anxious, but I think that anybody should try to do what they want.”

That’s a motto shared by Andrew Markey. “I just think people just don’t want to settle anymore.”


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