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Dream job? Bad luck – 85% of us never get there

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

If you’ve ever contemplated shaking off the 9 to 5 and pursuing your dream, new research shows you’re not alone, but most of us never get there.

That may be because ‘dream’ and ‘job’ are incompatible, but a study from the F&C Investment Trust, shows 85% of working Britons aren’t in their dream job and most don’t believe they’ll ever find it.

The lucky few who do find their dream job tend to do so at 33 and job satisfaction seems to improve with age: Those aged over 55 enjoy their job the most, with 44% enjoying their job ‘a lot’ compared to only a third (30%) of those aged 18-35.

Millennials are the most optimistic generation with nearly two-thirds (64%) thinking they will be in their ‘dream’ job in an average of six years’ time. Despite the majority (81%) saying they enjoy their current role, only one in ten (11%) think they will work in the same industry for the rest of their working lives.

Those not in their dream jobs have familiar gripes: low salary (36%), no career progression (22%) and no additional perks or benefits (21%) are the top complaints.  Most would prefer a better work / life balance (40%), a higher salary (30%) and a less stressful working environment (25%).

The research showed that people are held back by a fear of failure (13%) and not having enough money saved to switch career now (13%). However, around 30% of Brits are not pursuing their dream jobs due to money issues. They do not feel they have the financial freedom to switch careers. The average working Brit estimates they would need a ‘buffer’ of £3,340 in savings to support themselves between jobs.

Ross Duncton, head of direct, at BMO said: “Our research highlights how focused millennials are about their futures, especially in terms of career ambitions. For the most part they are optimistic about achieving their dream job in just a few years.

“However, there are a few barriers that they need to overcome. For example, they realise they will need a ‘buffer’ of over £3,000 to manage the move towards their ‘dream’ job, however nearly a fifth don’t have any savings at all. Perhaps they should take learning from those that already have found their dream jobs. Just under half of those who have already made the transition, say they wished they had saved money to do it sooner. While it may be hard to visualise your future self, breaking the big picture down into small, more manageable goals can help.”

Top Ten Dream Jobs for UK Adults:

  1. Writer
  2. Entrepreneur
  3. Property Developer
  4. Actor/Actress
  5. Author
  6. Businessman/Businesswoman
  7. Hotel/B&B owner
  8. Medical Professional
  9. Environmentalist
  10. Financial Services Professional