working on sofa

More than half of workers in the UK have aspirations of being their own boss, according to investment firm Standard Life.

Fifty-four per cent of those surveyed said they wish they could change career, with 72% of 25-34 year olds wanting new challenges in their professional lives.

Nearly six in ten (57%) said their desire to be their own boss and start their own boss is the key reason behind their plans to change career. Again, the 25-34 year olds were the most likely to think this way. Wanting to be your own boss was the biggest driver for thinking about setting up a business and with 54% of workers saying they’ve had to miss a significant personal event due to work commitments, it’s not surprising some people want to call the shots.

The research also reveals the key barriers to changing career path, with people worrying about being too old to alter direction (11%), valuing their current stability (11%), not knowing where to start (10%), and a lack of confidence (10%) given as the top reasons for not to take the plunge.

Stable future

The study highlights that what motivates us in our job changes as we get older. Career progression was chosen as the biggest motivator by 16% of under 34 year olds, but just 6% of those over that age. And salary becomes less focal in our minds after the age of 55.

The desire for our job to help set us up for the future is clear; a pension is seen as a valuable employee benefit, rising significantly in importance as people progress through their career: 39% of 18 to 24 year olds highlighted this as an important benefit, doubling to 80% for those over the age of 55.

It’s between 25 and 30 when UK workers are most likely to feel they can start saving meaningfully, but, on average, it’s not until between the ages of 41 and 45 that we start to feel financially secure.

Stephen Ingeldew, managing director of marketing at Standard Life, said: “It’s really encouraging to see so many young people embodying these entrepreneurial aspirations as they strive for workplace happiness, as well as looking clearly to the future to ensure their career provides the best possible financial security. Our financial priorities will shift as we move between the stages of our career so a new job, promotion or career change is always a good time to review financial plans and priorities to make sure things are on track.”