Three Quarters Feel Job Regret

More than three quarters of workers regret their choice of career according to a new survey.

The poll of 500 workers by discovered that 77 per cent of workers admitted to sometimes regretting their career decisions.

Less than a quarter of us – just 23 per cent – said they never felt any regrets about their career paths.

Boredom was the biggest reason respondents gave for regretting their choice of career with more than one third, 35 per cent, saying they felt bored at work and longed for a more exciting or worthwhile role.

Money was the next biggest factor in job regrets with 31 per cent saying they wished they had chosen a more lucrative career path.

Long hours were the biggest bug-bear for seven per cent who wished they had chosen a less demanding path while a further four per cent yearned for a less pressured job.

One respondent who took part in the survey commented: “At school I dreamed of becoming a doctor but I flunked my exams and ended up in sales.

“I make a good living but I must admit there are times when I wish I had done something a little more worthwhile with my life.

“I could be curing sick children but instead I’m selling stuff and banging a gong when I reach my targets. It’s fun but ten per cent of the time I find myself wishing I’d tried harder in those exams.”

Another respondent said: “I always wanted to be a nurse and I achieved my goal but there are times when I wish I hadn’t.

“I do enjoy the patient contact and it can be incredibly rewarding but at the same time it’s incredibly stressful and such darned hard work.

“The NHS resources are stretched to the limits and sometimes I can’t help but wish I worked in a more relaxed, less stressful environment.

“My real passion these days is yoga and I’m even thinking of quitting nursing to become a full time yoga teacher.”

Chris Meredith of, who commissioned the research, said the results showed just how many of us feel we have had to compromise in our careers.

He said: “If you are happy in your work and never regret not doing something else then you are the exception rather than the rule.

“Less than one quarter of the people we spoke to said they never felt any regret about their career decisions. Most of us have had to compromise at sometime or another.

“Perhaps surprisingly money isn’t the biggest motivator. More people are motivated by job satisfaction than financial factors alone.

“That’s reflected in the fact that the biggest reason for regretting career path was a perceived lack of excitement or reward in the current job.

“It seems despite the current recession more people would be happy in an interesting job that wasn’t well paid than they would be in a boring but well paid role.”