Sun, sea and - a new job? UK workers get itchy feet on holiday

A survey has showed a third of workers are returning from holiday with plans to look for a new job. Start-up, anyone?

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 07 Feb 2011

With unemployment still stubbornly high, you'd have thought those who could afford a holiday this year would be counting their blessings. But according to a survey by recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark, for many, holidays are no longer serving to recharge the batteries and renew our enthusiasm for the job – instead, they seem to be making us more restless than ever. Perhaps it's time for an economic reality check...

The survey (of 1,000 workers) found that only one in 10 feel ‘refreshed and motivated’ enough to pursue a promotion when they get back from holiday (inertia is a powerful thing, as Isaac Newton might have said were he around to read the press release). Instead, one in three want to look for a new job, while 5% go as far as to say they want to change professions entirely.

Of course, this may be because after a week of sun, sea, and overpriced cocktails, returning to the drab routine of the daily commute is a particularly grim prospect. Or maybe it suggests that faced with tough economic conditions, employers have been putting workers’ needs on the back burner. After all, few things demotivate like a pay freeze.

Londoners are apparently the most miserable (we blame the Tube), with 43% expressing a desire to change jobs or even careers. This finding is likely to raise a smile in ‘the regions’, where many have always suspected that London’s hype can’t possibly reflect reality of life in the metropolis. And sector-wise, there aren’t many surprises: people working in finance are the least positive, with 64% desperate to get out (perhaps they're sick of being social pariahs), closely followed by lawyers, 59% of whom apparently also hate their jobs.
Now as a recruitment consultancy, B&C obviously has rather a vested interest in talking up people's eagerness to change jobs. But there's clearly still a lot of grumbling around. So here’s a thought for all those gloomsters: what better time to escape wage-slavery and do something you really want to do – for yourself? Yes, start your own business. At least that way you get to enjoy more of the upside – if any. And if you come back from holiday (not that you’ll have time to take one) hankering for a promotion, you can give yourself one.
If that doesn’t appeal, perhaps they should just remind themselves that things could be worse: they could be civil servants. With those October spending cuts on the way, we can’t imagine working for the Government is much fun at the moment, either.

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