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What happened to the ‘Job for Life’ mentality?


The ‘job for life’ mentality is dead – with only one in three employees planning to commit themselves to their current place of work in the long term, it has emerged.

Job fears, a lack of loyalty from both parties and a mercenary approach to the world of work means most staff don’t expect to stay with their current employer for long. In fact, over half of the 2,000 adults polled said don’t think they’ll be with their current company in five years’ time.

The study also showed the typical adult begins looking for other opportunities after just one year and five months in the same position, and will dramatically change their career path at least twice.

Even in a tough jobs climate, people are always going to hold on to their ambitions and it’s clear the mindset has changed when it comes to trying to achieve those goals.
Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive at AAT

The study, conducted by AAT – the professional body for accounting technicians, found over a third of Brits feel spending just eighteen months in the job warrants a promotion.

Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive at AAT, said: ”Even in a tough jobs climate, people are always going to hold on to their ambitions and it’s clear the mindset has changed when it comes to trying to achieve those goals.

”It’s surprising that people are quite as willing to leave their current company, but the trend is very much moving away from a long-term commitment to a workplace and seems geared far more towards personal progression.

”Having high aspirations is of course positive, but it’s important that people take time to carefully consider their options and evaluate the role they are in, where it could lead and whether that’s the right fit for them.”

It seems that gone are the days of committing to a company for the long-term, with the idea of staying with the same company for life coming across as excruciatingly boring for one in four. A fifth of people said the very mention of a job for life would ‘drive them mad’ or cause them to feel trapped, while many claimed it was just too big a commitment.

A free-roaming one in twenty said the offer of a job for life would even have them running for the hills. Indeed, two in three Brits don’t feel they owe any loyalty toward their company, and six in ten Brits are constantly keeping their eye out for new jobs; thirty per cent are actively searching for something better.

The average person has spent four years working for their present company, but one in four is neither satisfied nor challenged in their role. A fifth feels they have more ambition than their current job allows and believes their company is not progressing.

Just eighteen per cent love the job that they do, but despite having high demands it seems people aren’t clear on the right direction for them – sixty per cent say they don’t have a dream job to aim for. For those chasing the dream, one in four are convinced they’ll get there, but a less optimistic third think they don’t have a chance.

Having children forced six in ten mums to question their career once they eventually returned to work, with a fifth claiming it changed their professional drive and what they looked for in a job.

While university degrees don’t necessarily aid in the hunt for working happiness, just two in ten graduates said their degree set them apart from others, with many saying other qualifications and experiences were what sealed the job offer.

However over 50 per cent of all respondents said they would consider retraining to change career