Majority of UK workers have hit a career slump, research finds

New research finds that 80.6 per cent of UK workers have experienced a career slump, with a further 32.5 per cent revealing this was down to lack of career progression.

The majority (80.6 per cent) of UK workers have experienced a career slump in their working lives, according to new research by Course Library.

The research, which surveyed 1,200 participants between the ages of 18 and 64 about their job satisfaction, also reveals that of the workers who confirmed career slumps, 32.5 per cent advised this was due to lack of career progression, with lack of training and development [17.3 per cent] and repetitive tasks [11.6 per cent] cited as other key reasons.

The survey also questioned participants on how they dealt with this slump in their career, with 41 per cent of unsatisfied workers revealing they then went on to leave their job roles. Furthermore, 42 per cent of participants advised they felt the best way to overcome negative feelings at work – such as boredom, lack of motivation and lack of enthusiasm – was to throw in the towel and apply for a new job role altogether.

In contrast, more than a quarter [28.2 per cent] of respondents felt the best way to overcome a career slump was to enhance their skill-sets through online learning courses – suggesting that a lack of relevant skills or experience fuels negative feelings in employment.

Key findings

Of the 80 per cent of workers who have experienced career slumps, there is a near even split in men [80.6 per cent] and women [80.8 per cent]

23 per cent of participants did try to take positive action in overcoming their career slump, by speaking with their manager about career progression opportunities.

20 per cent of participants also advised that they asked for a mentor within the workplace, demonstrating their desire to remain within their current job role.

Boredom is the most common negative emotion felt in the workplace, confirmed by 30 per cent of participants.

Jazz Gandhum, founder of Course Library, says, ‘This latest research by Course Library clearly demonstrates that a high percentage of UK workers experience dissatisfaction in their job roles, where lack of career progression, or training and development opportunities, are often to blame.

‘Traditionally, many smaller businesses fail to offer regular training and development, with cost and time out of the office being key factors. By enhancing your employees’ skill-sets through online courses, SMEs will benefit from lower training costs, a stronger workforce and the likelihood of a higher staff retention rate.’

Lee Biggins, co-founder of Course Library adds, ‘It’s clear from our findings that many employees in the UK are hitting roadblocks in their careers. Not only is this disheartening for the worker themselves, but it can also present problems for smaller businesses when it comes to talent retention.

‘Employees need to feel as if they are moving forward in their careers and this can only be achieved if SMEs are offering the right opportunities and helping members of staff to expand their skill-sets, develop and grow alongside the business.’

Further reading on your career

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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