Keep your career - we want satisfaction

Oct 08 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Two-thirds of people think they are doing the wrong thing and will never land their dream job. But don’t think for a minute that they are bemoaning the lack of ‘a career’.

A telephone survey of more than 2,000 people carried out for National Savings & Investments found that three-quarters of people would ideally like to have a job that changed other people's lives in some way.

The results also reveal a startling lack of career drive or ambition amongst people in the UK. A mere three per cent were interested in a job that offered them the chance to progress up the career ladder. Instead, job satisfaction was far and away the most important criterion – cited by almost six out of ten people - with only one in seven saying that money was the key ingredient and one in ten wanting job security.

Significantly, only one in six people said they would choose to stay in their current job given a free choice, while one in five felt that they would be happiest running their own business.

The ‘tabloid choices’ did not appeal either; only just over one in ten would want to be a professional sportsman; four per cent would aspired to being a pop star and two per cent a soap actor.

But being the CEO of a public company was almost as unpopular an aspiration. A mere three per cent would want the seat at the head of the boardroom table, rather fewer than the seven per cent who said they wanted to be Prime Minister.

Psychologist Donna Dawson explained: "Although it's nice to fantasise about more exciting, better-paid jobs, most people feel comfortable and secure in the jobs that they already have: you either grow to fit your job, or your job grows to fit you.

"This fit might not be emulated in another job, where a lack of sufficient talent or experience would really show you up.

"Also, we may admire so-called glamorous jobs, but the downside - the lack of privacy - is enough to put us off in reality."