Many UK workers are planning to ‘reset’ their careers by starting a business, making a hobby pay, or doing something more rewarding, according to a report from BritainThinks and Investec Click & Invest.
The survey of 3,652 people found that 71% believe there is no longer such a thing as a ‘job for life’, and 79% would rather do something they love than something well-paid. A third (32%) are planning to make major life adjustments in the next five years, possibly constituting what the research terms a career ‘reset'.
The survey highlighted two distinct groups of resetters; finding that 10% of the population were recent career resetters and 19% were seasoned resetters. Almost a third (30%) had set up their own business, and a further 22% have made a hobby pay – a new group of entrepreneurs the report calls ‘hobbypreneurs’. A further 30% have changed careers to do something more rewarding.
Recent resetters were on average 35 years old, and many (68%) had changed their career to something they feel more passionate about in the last year, gone freelance (23%), or set up their own business (26%). Seasoned resetters on the other hand had an average age of 52. This group has achieved both a career change and lifestyle change; 32% have set up their own business and 26% have made a hobby pay.
Viki Cooke, founding partner of BritainThinks, said people are taking control of their lives despite political and economic uncertainty. “Our research identifies that across the population there is a move towards empowerment as people recognise that in a world of increasing uncertainty they need to take control of their lives and ‘reset’,” she said. “This has implications for work and careers, lifestyle and financial planning. We see this as a societal trend that is set to continue.”
Andrew Summers, head of collectives at Investec Wealth and Investment, highlighted the benefits to UK PLC of the report’s findings. “Small businesses have long been the engine room of the UK economy, so the fact that more people are taking control and setting up their own enterprises is likely to have a positive impact across all sectors,” he said.
Vlatka Hlupic, professor of business and management at the University of Westminster, told HR magazine she expects this trend to continue. "Given the volatility and uncertainty of many business environments and archaic management styles, the trend of starting a business, making a hobby pay or doing something more rewarding is likely to continue and grow," she said.
"Working in organisations managed by un-engaging command and control mindsets is becoming less appealing to increasing numbers of employees. This approach does not allow employees to unleash their creativity and passion for work and find meaning at work, so many employees are looking for alternative career options."
Hlupic offered advice for businesses keen to hang on to staff tempted by going it alone. "If firms want to avoid losing entrepreneurial staff they need to be more humanised, focus on people and purpose, and practice a distributed leadership style where employees are empowered to experiment with new ideas and make decisions on the basis of knowledge rather than their position in an organisational hierarchy," she advised.