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Story On Workers Job Dissatisfaction + UK’s Most Under-considered Jobs – HR News


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One in four (24%) UK workers are dissatisfied in their careers and are suffering from career itchy feet, as a third (33%) of UK workers say they are aiming to switch careers within the next year, according to a new research collaboration by the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy and leading hiring platform, Indeed.

The research which combines a poll of more than 4,000 UK workers conducted for the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy with job search data from Indeed, examines how people feel about their current career choices, what they’re looking for in a dream career, and reveals ten of the ‘Best Careers You’ve Never Considered.’

Interestingly, despite the fact that many UK workers are not happy with their career choice, a quarter (27%) have never actually changed careers, as many find themselves tied down to their first occupation.

Money, meaning, and me-time are key drivers of discontent

Limited earning potential (38%) is among the top reasons why workers remain unhappy in their current role, as financial pressures, heightened by the cost-of-living crisis, take their toll.

However, many desire to inject more purpose and excitement into their careers, with more than a third (37%) wanting to do something more meaningful and a similar proportion saying their current occupation is boring and unfulfilling (36%). 

The workplace environment is also a common driver of career unhappiness: a third (32%) note a toxic work/life balance as the source of their dissatisfaction.  

Self-limiting ageism could make workers curb options for career change

Perceptions of being too old to switch occupations – often self-imposed – may be a major factor in holding younger workers back from expanding their horizons.  While nearly a fifth of UK workers (18%) think the age limit to switch careers is in their 40s, there are still more than one in 10 (13%) workers who think options to change roles is limited by their 30s.

Millennials and Gen X most dissatisfied with their career choices

The research reveals Gen X workers, classified as ages 44-59, are the most dissatisfied with their current careers, with more than a quarter of this generation (27%) unhappy in their occupation. This is closely followed by Millennials, aged 28-43, with 23% saying they are unhappy in their roles. At the other end of the spectrum, Baby Boomers, a pre-retirement age group of 60-69, are overwhelmingly satisfied with their career, as affirmed by more than four in five (82%) individuals.

The DNA of the dream career – good salary, work/life balance and work from home

When looking at the components of people’s ideal careers, more than two thirds noted this was an option offering them a comfortable salary (68%), which on average was valued at £50,384 a year.

Interestingly, men’s ideal salary was nearly £10,000 higher than women’s, which they set at £54,771 compared to £45,624. Meanwhile, Millennials’ perceptions of a comfortable salary were the highest of all the generations, at £58,324.

More than half of workers said their ideal career would offer them a healthier work/life balance (56%) as well as the ability to work flexible hours (50%). The most popular amount of time to work from home was three days a week, as cited by nearly a fifth of workers (19%).

Ten of the ‘Best Careers You’ve Never Considered’

St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy combined UK worker polling insights with job search data from Indeed to create a list of the ‘Ten Best Careers You’ve Never Considered’. These are career options that offer many of the most desirable characteristics, including flexible and hybrid working as well as a comfortable salary, but which surprisingly are not considered as career choices according to Indeed’s data.

Career choice % of UK workers who have considered this career
Employee Relations Manager 10%
Senior Paraplanner 9%
Adjuster 5%
Financial Adviser 4%
Finance Systems Analyst 3%
Digital Consultant 3%
Benefits Consultant 3%
External Affairs Manager 2%
Policy Manager 2%
Rehabilitation Manager (therapy) 2%

*Short explainers on each career in notes to editors

Gee Foottit, Partnerships Manager at the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy, said: 

“There are so many career choices out there for the third of us looking to make a switch. However, a lack of awareness about these opportunities, as well as a shortage of self-confidence, seem to be holding us back. So, we’re partnering with Indeed to put a spotlight on under-considered careers that could deliver exactly what people want.

“Just 4% of us have considered a career in financial advice, for instance, despite the chance to work flexibly, earn comfortably and make a real difference. Limited awareness of our profession means the gap in future talent for our sector is widening, so we need to change that and through the Academy we’re playing our part.”

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist at Indeed, said:“Every month, millions of people search for jobs through the Indeed UK site, which gives us a fascinating window into what workers are looking for. We see a clear desire for better work – work with more opportunity, transparency and greater wellbeing. We distilled these desirable features into some ‘dream career DNA’ and then reviewed our data on the career options that offer these – but which can often be overlooked.

“There’s something for everyone in our resulting list, from relationship-based roles, such as Rehabilitation Managers and Financial Advisers, to analytical ones, such as Adjusters, Finance Systems Analysts and Digital Consultants. These roles often offer flexible or hybrid working and competitive salaries, all of which are important to today’s jobseeker.”

For those considering a career in financial advice, visit the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy website.

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