Nearly half of employees dream of a more fulfilling career

Four in 10 employees want a more fulfilling career – but worry they’ve left it too late to change, a study has found.

Research of 2,000 workers revealed 43 per cent want to switch sectors, with 34 per cent dreaming of something more rewarding and 25 per cent longing for a job which is more worthwhile.

Others want to work in a role they can be proud of (21 per cent), that makes a difference (18 per cent) or that gives back to society (13 per cent).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But only 17 per cent think they will manage to make the leap within the next year, with 12 per cent admitting they don’t think they’ll ever be able to start something new.

For 27 per cent, a lack of confidence is the biggest barrier, while others feel they are too old to start again (26 per cent), fear failing (22 per cent) or worry they won’t be able to learn new skills.

It also emerged health, social care and dentistry are among the most popular roles people would like to work in to give back to society, along with teaching and charities.

Tom Hoosen-Webber, chief people and procurement officer for Bupa Global & UK, which commissioned the research, said: “We’re at work for a huge amount of our lives – so it’s important to try and do something you enjoy, that rewards you or that you feel fulfilled doing. While it can be daunting to make the change initially, many people find they are much happier for it. Whatever your career ambitions for 2024 I’d encourage you to make that change.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found that if they were to change careers, 57 per cent want on-the-job learning, while 40 per cent would look for something that uses similar skills to the ones they already have.

But just 14 per cent would consider an apprenticeship, with 45 per cent worried the wages will be too low and 42 per cent of the belief they are too old for this to be an option, wrongly thinking apprenticeships are “just for school leavers”.

Tom Hoosen-Webber, from Bupa Global & UK, added: “We see many people entering the health and social care fields from other sectors, and they bring fantastic transferrable skills which can benefit their new roles. There are so many options available to people looking to change careers.

“We offer a range of on the job learning opportunities, courses and apprenticeships to help people learn new skills. Many people find apprenticeships a great option - you can ‘earn as you learn’ and have a qualification and a job at the end of it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Victoria Taylor, 33, from Surrey has an inspirational journey from wanting to be a hairdresser to now being a carerVictoria Taylor, 33, from Surrey has an inspirational journey from wanting to be a hairdresser to now being a carer
Victoria Taylor, 33, from Surrey has an inspirational journey from wanting to be a hairdresser to now being a carer | Bupa/SWNS

A turn of events

When Victoria Taylor, 36, from Surrey, left school, she wanted to be a hairdresser, but after changing her mind she got a job on the checkout of her local supermarket.

There she found her passion for helping people, assisting elderly people across the road with their shopping, going above and beyond her role.

Others started to tell her that she would be a good carer, so she got a job at a nearby Bupa care home, working her way up to senior carer, and now home manager.

Victoria said: “When I worked at the supermarket, helping people with their shopping and providing that extra care and support was the best part of the job. That’s when I knew I should try to make a career of caring.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I love working with everyone at the home. We are one big family, working to provide the best possible care for our residents. No two days are the same. Some days the residents fancy a trip to the pub, other days we’re in the garden planting flowers and getting some fresh air.

“I’d encourage anyone thinking about it to consider a career in care. The sky is the limit if you have compassion and empathy for people – that’s essential to the job.”

Rebekah Martin, 33, from Nottingham went from baking to dental careRebekah Martin, 33, from Nottingham went from baking to dental care
Rebekah Martin, 33, from Nottingham went from baking to dental care | Bupa/SWNS

Personal switches in career

Rebekah Martin, 33, from Nottingham, worked in a bakery before starting a new role as a trainee dental nurse. Before changing careers, the mum-of-two always had a desire to pursue something where she could become qualified, and her new job allowed her to complete full training and gave her time out of surgery to do her coursework.

Her favourite part of the apprenticeship was learning about the various treatments carried out in the surgery, which has enabled her to be more skilled and confident.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “Being a mum meant having time to complete my coursework was very important to me in allowing me to change careers. But also make sure you aren’t afraid to ask questions along the way and always soak up as much information as possible from different people you meet along the way.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.