Millions in wrong jobs

We are apparently wasting millions of years slaving in the wrong jobs. Are you one of the living dead?

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

The Skills Commission has produced a statistic that made the MT team choke on their lattes this morning. Apparently, a mind-boggling 132 million working years have been spent by people in the wrong job.

The Commission’s online poll of over 2,000 adults revealed that people spend on average four years and 10 months in jobs that do not make the best use of their skills. One in five of you are currently in such a job and 41% of you have been.

If the rule is that the bigger the statistic, the better, then this research really does take the biscuit. But how to solve such a humungous problem? The remedy apparently, lies in better careers advice.

It’s a good point. Did you ever follow your careers teacher’s advice? A quick straw poll around our office shows that, if we had, we would variously be archaeologists, engine drivers and sports scientists. Good job we ignored it.

And what of the people who actually do discover their right job, but find themselves in the wrong organisation? There’s nothing worse than starting your dream job only to find that you work with people you can’t stand or in conditions that make your life difficult.

Only yesterday, the Fawcett Society highlighted the problem of women in the City having to endure a strip club culture at many firms. Going to the local lap dancing club is not everyone’s idea of enjoyable client relationship management.

And it’s time that firms woke up to that fact because it’s not only working years that are wasted but valuable talent too.


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