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Half of young Britons say they are stuck in dead-end jobs

If you hate your job, you’re not alone as a new study has found almost half of young Britons (45%) feel trapped in a job they can’t stand.

According to the study, more than a third (36%) of 20-35 year olds admit they are desperate to quit their job but can’t afford it, while 38% say they can’t. have no hope of getting a promotion or moving laterally to a more interesting position in their current company.

43% spend all day staring at the clock, while 29% admit that the end of the weekend is marred by the “Sunday night blues” – the fear of returning to work the next day.

Yet the study of 1,500 20-35 year olds, commissioned by the Open University, suggests it’s hard to find anything new, as 28% feel they’ve fallen down a career path whose they can’t get out. A quarter of young people are desperate to leave their current job but struggle to find something else.

To find a potential solution to the problems that many young people face in their careers and to show the realities of new career challenges, the Open University is launching an “Unlock Your Inner Boss LIVE” challenge, where they will put on television and radio presenter Gemma Cairney on trial leading a new venture for the day, and will be streaming the activity live on their social media.

Interestingly, 82% of young people said they dream of being their own boss, while four in ten (41%) said they would like to start their own business. In fact, three-quarters describe themselves as entrepreneurial and believe they have what it takes to succeed.

When it comes to “parallel activities” or an occupation carried out in addition to their regular job, 37% of respondents say they already have one. A third of young people who do not yet have a secondary activity want one and 21% say they are planning their “secondary activity” now.

Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, said: “It’s amazing to see the positive entrepreneurial attitude of young people in the UK. Many young people know they have the potential to do bigger and better things, but don’t know how to get to their dream job. We hope that OU can be the solution to the problems that some of the younger generations are facing, flexible study schedules give OU students the opportunity to “earn while they learn” and provide a chance to hone to land their dream job while pursuing a side hustle at the same time.

“The UO has a proven track record of helping people achieve the career of their dreams. It is the largest university in the UK and has produced more CEOs than any other university. Continuing to develop your skills is a must for these go-getters, so they can achieve the career goals they want. We believe that education should be considered as an option for every stage of life, the sky really is the limit.

Gemma Cairney, Host of OU’s ‘Unlock Your Inner Boss’ LIVE Challenge, said, “I’m thrilled to be taking part in the OU’s ‘Unlock Your Inner Boss’ LIVE Challenge and being put to the test, as my own boss in a new company. It’s great to see young people today have such a positive mindset about feeling entrepreneurial – they clearly want to take control of their careers and many are planning their own hustles. I hope watching me in the UYIB challenge will show that everyone is capable of achieving their dream job, with the right mindset and support. I have always considered myself to have an entrepreneurial spirit and I look forward to seeing the challenges that the day will offer me!”

The research also found that, unsurprisingly, three in ten young UK workers (31%) say they live for the weekend. Problems have been exacerbated by returning to the office, with three in ten saying returning to work after working from home has made their job worse, with 35% admitting they lack the flexibility that working from home offers.

And while half of young people said their parents’ generation was willing to stay in a job they didn’t like, 31% of young people today are adamant they shouldn’t having to stay in a job they hate.

The research also found that on average, young UK workers who are stuck in dead-end jobs think they are only using 39% of their full talent potential, meaning 27% stick to their current role purely for income. As a result, more than a quarter (26%) of young UK workers struggle to stay awake in the office – 21% say they work to live, rather than live to work. In fact, a fifth said morale at the company they worked for was at an all-time low, with 16% having a nightmarish boss who they said micromanage them.

Meanwhile, 13% sometimes admit they cry in the toilet because they feel so stressed, with one in ten saying they can’t leave work on time, or that their manager will think that they don’t work hard enough.

The research also revealed the barriers to finding your dream job – 43% of young Britons admitting that despite all the difficulties in their current job, they still have NO IDEA of their dream career.

31% say they cannot afford the required training, while 24% do not have the skills required for their dream job. While nearly a fifth (19%) admit they don’t know what skills they need for their ideal career.

More than a third are interested in upskilling to progress further in their current role, while 36% want to change careers by moving into something completely different. A fifth believe they would benefit from a better understanding of business management, while 16% are adamant that they would like to develop their IT skills. Meanwhile, 17% said improving their IT expertise would be crucial to achieving their career dreams.

And when it comes to changing careers, 17% believe that the more time passes and the more senior you become, it becomes increasingly difficult to change. 16% regret having started their career and not having had the courage to go and find a job that they really wanted. However, 14% say they just need a boss who will give them a chance to work to their full potential.

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