HR · 10 June 2016

Swathes of British workers desire career changes as entrepreneurship surges

unhappy worker
Workers in the retail sector are most likely to be applying for new jobs.

The daily grind is getting vast numbers of Britain’s workers down according to new research, with as many as a third of employees unhappy in their job.

A study commissioned by online careers software Start discovered that as many as ten per cent of workers wished they were doing something else – those individuals stating that choosing the wrong career was their biggest regret in life.

Many employees admitted to actively seeking another line of work, with workers in the retail sector the most likely to be applying for new jobs in an attempt to start afresh. Similarly, 23 per cent of workers in transport sector and 21 per cent of healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, are believed to be seeking alternative employment.

Just over one-in-ten workers said that they were “putting up with” their current role for the time being, before looking for something more fulfilling later in life.

For the most part, workers claimed that their unhappiness in work was the result of “falling” into a job after leaving education without appropriate career guidance.

Commenting on the research, Start CEO Andy Pickles said: “Many of us end up in a job we don’t enjoy because of decisions we make at a young age, whether that be choosing the wrong subjects or not having enough guidance at school. It’s disappointing that people say they have ‘fallen’ into a role but so often we leave school without a real sense of direction.”

The North West of England was revealed as the UK region with the most people without a job they enjoyed. Just 43 per cent of workers in the region reported being genuinely happy in their role, whilst 23 per cent admitted to falling into it by accident.

“Interestingly, a third of respondents said their parents had provided the most influence on their careers, meaning for those of us with children, we play an important part in their future,” Pickles went on to say.

“By ensuring young people have accessible and relevant information, we can empower the next generation into careers which will help build our economy and a happier workforce,” he added.

Entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a more attractive career option than roles in traditional sectors.

Despite the uncertainty and risk involved with starting a business, the number of under-35 year-olds making their startup idea a reality has risen by 70 per cent since 2007, according to Enterprise Nation statistics.

Talking exclusively with Business Advice, Enterprise Nation’s Emma Jones revealed what the UK’s entrepreneurs feel about the imminent EU referendum. Find out what she had to say here.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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