Over half (54%) of UK workers wish they could change career, rising to 72% for those aged between 25 and 34, according to research by long term investment savings specialist Standard Life. But worry about being too old to change direction (11%), valuing their current stability (11%), not knowing where to start (10%), and a lack of confidence (10%) are key reasons for not taking the plunge.

Over Half of UK Workers Want To Change Career

Over Half of UK Workers Want To Change Career

What satisfaction looks like

The good news is that 84% of people did say they were at least somewhat satisfied in their job and the top happiness drivers are:

  • Having job security (34%)
  • Making a difference to people's lives (25%)
  • Feeling valued within their organisation (25%)
  • Working with people they consider friends as well as colleagues (25%)

Entrepreneurial dreams

For many it would seem that the desire to strike out on their own is a reason for thinking about a career change. Almost six in 10 UK workers (57%) have considered starting their own business, with those between the ages of 25 and 34 most motivated to do so. Wanting to be your own boss is the biggest driver for setting up or thinking about setting up a business and with 54% of workers saying they've had to miss a significant personal event due to work commitments perhaps it's not surprising some people want to call the shots.

Creating a stable future

When it comes to what motivates us in our jobs, we tend to change as we get older. Career progression is considerably more important to those under 34 (16%) compared to those over 34 (4%), and salary becomes less important as we pass the 50 milestone. One in 4 people said that pushing for a promotion is the time when we're most likely to prioritise work over our personal lives. In contrast, when it comes time to start a family, 43% said this is when having the right work-life balance is most important.

The desire for our job to help set us up for the future is clear; a pension is one of the most essential employee benefits, rising significantly in importance as people progress through their career: 39% of 18 to 24 year olds highlighted this as an important benefit, doubling to 84% for those over the age of 55.

It is between 25 and 30 when UK workers feel they can start saving meaningfully, but it's not until between the ages of 41 and 45 that we start to feel financially secure.

Standard Life Seven Stages: Through our careers we typically go through different stages, where we have different needs and priorities, Standard Life has identified seven stages of our career that many of us will recognise:

  1. Route Researcher - looking into what is out there
  2. Options Explorer - giving different opportunities a try
  3. Path Picker - making a career choice
  4. Committed Climber - working hard to move up the ladder
  5. Role Reviewer - taking a pause to think about what's next
  6. Life Balancer - prioritising a good work-life balance
  7. Relaxed Realiser - taking time for the important things

Julie Hutchison, Consumer Finance Expert Standard Life, commented: "As we go through our lives, what motivates us and makes us happy in our job changes. For some, the priority is moving up the career ladder, for others, having the security to support their family. As well as making us happy now, our career is also a way to ensure our plan for the future is on track - which is why it's good to see so many people view their pension as an important benefit at work.

"Our financial priorities will shift as we move between the stages of our career so a new job, promotion or career change is always a good time to review financial plans and priorities to make sure things are on track."

John Lees, author of How To Get A Job You Love, writes: "The fact that over half of us wish we could change careers is really interesting - the reasons why we want to move will depend a lot on the stage of our career, whether it's aiming for a higher salary or doing something we feel passionate about.

"While it's not always easy, change is certainly possible. But before making the leap it's good to reflect on what it is that would make us satisfied in a new role, or what's making us unsatisfied right now, so that a change, whether its job, company or career, does give us what we want. When it's time to make the change, there are lots of people and resources that can help with the process - and doing your homework is important."

You can find more information about planning for your financial future at standardlife.co.uk

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