Quarter of Brits - like David Beckham - are unhappy with current job

A new YouGov survey has found that 27% of UK workers do not feel satisfied by their current job, apparently including David Beckham, who has retired from football.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 12 Oct 2015

We’ve always been a nation of moaners and cynics (our condition isn’t helped by year-round bad weather), but who new that one in four is unhappy in their job? That’s according to the latest YouGov research commissioned by Oxford open learning.

The survey quizzed 1,282 people aged 18 and older on how they feel about their job. It found that salary is the biggest issue making people unhappy, with more than half (55%) of those that are peeved saying that they are not paid enough for what they do.

Not all of them have the option of retiring ‘at the top of their game’, as David Beckham said he wanted to do on Thursday, after turning down his latest offer to go and play for Perry St. Germain. By contrast, most ordinary mortals are reduced to shuffling around on jobsites looking for really rather similar desk jobs. 

Other stats included: 45% of those who said they were unhappy claimed that their job offers no career progression; and 35% ticked the box saying that job security and stress were reasons why they dislike the job.

It is worth noting that younger people appear to be happier with their work than older people – just 23% of 18-24s said they were dissatisfied at all, but the figure jumps to 33% for those between 25-34. The study suggests that people get jaded after the initial buzz of entering the world of work wears off.

Dr Nick Smith, courses director at Oxford Open Learning, said: ‘There are many reasons people may not feel satisfied with their careers, but in the current economic climate many of us may be reluctant to change career direction.

‘It's particularly interesting that so many people are concerned about a lack of opportunities to progress in their current careers - this suggests that employers may be able to retain workers for longer if they can offer clearer paths to promotion.’ Well we could have told you that without commissioning a study.

Still, Smith also said ‘it’s never too late to change career’ if you don’t like your job. A good thing for Beckham, who once said he had ‘always wanted to be a hairdresser’.

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