The beginning of a new year is a time when many of us take a step back and reflect on our lives - including our career. And it seems like many of us aren’t as happy as we could be.
Our recent survey showed that only three-quarters of people (74%) claim to be happy in their job. Indeed, 17% of respondents felt trapped in their current career, yet 25% felt that their job had equipped them with skills that they could transfer to other industries. Those figures are significant, particularly when we see that a ‘fear of the unknown’ was the most commonly quoted obstacle to people’s progression. So, for those of you who are interested in breaking free of your current role, we’ve created our Find Your New Career tool, to show you the different roles you might be interested in and how your current skill set might be utilised in a new job.
If you’re unhappy in your job and considering a change then you’re not alone. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about taking the leap.
Are you passionate about what you do?
Many people seem to have just grown tired of their current path or recognised that their true passion lies elsewhere. Our survey shows that (with the exception of the over 55s) the older people are, the less likely they are to be happy at work and doing something they’d call a ‘personal interest’. Added to which, irrespective of age, 34% of respondents claimed that they were in their job because they fell into it, while only 16% of people felt they were doing something they saw as their calling (with those working in ‘sales, media and marketing’ (39%), ‘arts and culture’ (32%) and ‘healthcare’ (21%) most likely to identify their work as their true passion).
Only 16% of people felt they were doing something they saw as their calling
There’s little doubt that times have changed. People no longer train in one discipline and stay in the same career for the majority of their working life, and people seem to be aware that there are more options and opportunities available to them, even as they get older. If that sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to have a look and see what’s out there?
Do you feel valued and on the right track?
Interestingly, it’s not all about the money. In our survey, factors like colleagues, support and company culture were considered more important than benefits or pay rises when it came to job satisfaction. Added to this, many seem to crave a new challenge or don’t feel like their current role is testing them enough. There is a strong link between happiness and position in the company hierarchy – those in senior manager roles are 85% more likely to be happy, compared to 70% in roles below management level.
When we asked people what was the biggest cause of their unhappiness, apart from ‘stress’ (33%), a ‘lack of progression’ (30%) and ‘not learning new skills’ (27%) were the biggest reasons for job dissatisfaction. So maybe it’s time to ask for that promotion or consider a move to somewhere with more opportunities to climb the ladder? And if you’re not yearning for more responsibility, maybe you just feel that you and your job aren’t a great fit and there’s no room to develop; only 33% of respondents felt that their job matched their skill set and only 25% felt that it was providing transferable skills.
You could use our Find Your New Career tool
If this is the case for you, consider speaking to your HR representative about training opportunities or the potential to occupy other roles within your company. If you don’t feel that’s an option, maybe it’s time for a more drastic change. You could use our Find Your New Career tool to find out about the roles and industries where your skill set might be valued to give you some ideas. You could also reach out to the government National Careers Service for some advice or potentially speak to a recruiter that operates in an industry that interests you.
What’s stopping you?
When we asked what stood in the way of people looking for a new job, the most common answer was ‘fear of the unknown’ (29%). A similar number of people were worried about their age, followed by people concerned about a lack of available or relevant positions (23%). The next two most common concerns were ‘not enough savings to quit the current job’ (21%) and a ‘difficult current financial situation’ (20%). These responses suggest that a fear of financial instability and uncertainty about what happens next are major factors standing in the way of people’s happiness.
One way to reduce that uncertainty is to understand your financial situation and take control of your savings, and that’s something PensionBee can help with. You might have more money tucked away from than you realise, and our career finder might just show you a new opportunity you’d not thought of. Good luck!
Our survey was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,010 respondents in the UK between 25.11.2019 - 28.11.2019. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.