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UK business owners and employees: Who is living the dream?

Britain is full of start-up wannabes – but few are brave enough to chase their dream jobs.

Business owners are living the dream, while 1/3 of employees want to leave their jobs.

If you were to step into a workplace and ask the employees “is this really where you want to be?” what do you think most of them would say?

Obviously the answers you receive would depend on who you speak to (and how far away their boss is sitting!). But, according to our research, it’s unlikely you’ll hear a resounding ‘yes’.

Our recent survey revealed that 70% of working Brits are not currently in their dream jobs and 1 in 3 want to leave their position.

We spoke to full time business owners, side business owners, and employees living across the UK to get a feel for the modern workplace climate. Find out who is whistling while they work, and which people are more likely to have one eye on the door…

Dream job or daydreaming about a change?


We asked respondents how they feel about their current position or whether there’s something else they’d rather be doing. People who run their own business are more likely to be satisfied with their working lives – 74% of business owners say they’re currently in their dream jobs, compared to just 13% of employees.

Should I stay or should I go?

So, what’s holding so many of us back?

Despite the fact that 34% of employees would like to leave their current role, money, location, and family arrangements are the three biggest barriers that are keeping people in positions they don’t like.

If I could be anything, I’d be a…

For those dreaming about leaping into a new career, the industry they’d most like to land in is Leisure, Sport, and Tourism, with many saying they like the sound of being a travel/holiday rep.

Creative Arts and Design was also a popular ‘if only’ industry, with many wishing they’d had a hand in inventing the Internet (or at least Facebook).

If I could have invented anything, I’d have invented…


Start-up wannabes

It seems the real goal for full-time employees is to be at the helm of their own operation – 1 in 3 employees dream about starting their own business. Doing so could be the key to being happy at work: of those who have managed to start their own business, 55% say they were always sure that it was the career they wanted.

However, for many, there are serious factors getting in the way of turning the dream into a reality.

If only I didn’t have to worry about…

Some people have taken steps to fulfil their goal by starting a business on the side while still working at another job. But fear has prevented many from turning their side business into a full-time position – 34% are too scared at the thought of not having a regular income, and 28% are afraid of failure.

Despite Brexit uncertainty, just 9% of would be entrepreneurs said that Britain leaving the European Union had stopped them starting their own business.

Making a change: Who dares?

Our survey revealed that many of us are dreaming about other things we could be doing – but does anyone actually dare take the steps needed to alter their career path?

Only 11% of full-time employees are actually thinking about changing their job in the next year – more than half believe it’s too late or are unsure. People who have started side businesses are slightly more optimistic – 48% say it’s not too late to make a change yet.

Age is a factor that was consistently mentioned when we asked employees why they haven’t pursued their dream job. Those aged 45 and older are the most likely to believe it’s too late to change careers, and a surprising 10% of 18-24-year olds already fear they’re locked in for the long haul.

How old is too old?


As our survey has shown, many of us want to take control of our careers, and those who make the leap are more likely to enjoy their working lives. It might seem there’s a mountain of difficulty between thinking about launching your own start-up and taking the steps to get there, but it doesn’t have to be that way! We can help you stop daydreaming and start living the dream – find out how.



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