Two in three Britons would choose a different career
3rd January 2019

Two in three Britons would choose a different career if they had the chance to start again, survey reveals

  • Most people in the UK are dissatisfied with the career path they have chosen
  • Government commissioned poll reveals the extend of frustration of workers 
  • 53 per cent said they would change their occupation if they felt they could

Most people in the UK are dissatisfied with their jobs and two-thirds would pick a different career if they could choose again, a survey has found.

A Government-commissioned poll reveals the extent of frustration among today’s workers, with the majority – 64 per cent – regretting the path they have taken in life.

More than half – 53 per cent – said they would change their occupation if they felt they could. And 34 per cent said their current career felt so ‘meaningless’ and ‘unrewarding’ that they were considering leaving for another profession.

A Government-commissioned poll has revealed the extent of frustration among today’s workers

The survey of 3,200 adults, conducted by Censuswide, found there were a range of factors stopping people from making the change they crave. A fifth of respondents who had considered a career change said the ‘fear of the unknown’ acted as a barrier, and one third said they did not want to start from scratch or study again.

The research was commissioned as part of the Government’s Get Into Teaching campaign, with ministers hoping to steer career-changers towards schools.

Bill Richards, managing director at job website Indeed, said the new year was a prime time for people to search for a fresh lifestyle.

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He said: ‘Career changes are often influenced by a desire to seek employment with a purpose. As more people look for jobs that reflect their values, it’s easy to see why candidates would consider going into the classroom.’

Of those considering switching careers, 34 per cent were looking for a ‘more fulfilling role’ and 36 per cent were seeking ‘wellbeing’ – having a career they enjoy while staying healthy and happy.

A similar proportion said they wanted a more stable income, or a better paid role. And while many held doubts about their own ability to change, over half of those surveyed said they believed you are never too old to change careers. More than two-fifths – 44 per cent – of those surveyed believe they would make a good teacher.

Damian Hinds (pictured above) said he wants to give people the opportunity to become teachers 

Roger Pope, of the Get Into Teaching campaign, said: ‘Our research highlights just how many people in this country are at a career crossroads and have an itch to switch. It’s interesting to see that people are looking to achieve a wider sense of fulfilment and worth – which is exactly what a career in teaching can give you.’

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: ‘The fact that two in five people think they have what it takes to be a teacher is fantastic and I want to give them the opportunity to see what it is like standing in front of a class.’

Half of all postgraduates starting their teacher training in September 2018 were ‘mature’ – aged 25 or over – an increase from 45 per cent in 2015. The number of teachers in secondary schools fell by 10,800 to 208,200 between 2010 and 2016.

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