Research released by AUB reveals we are a nation of frustrated creatives, with 63% of Brits wishing they were in a career where they could make more use of their creative skills.
The research also found over half (54%) of Brits have a number of career regrets, including not investing enough time when choosing a career in the first instance (23%), their choice of school, college or university (21%) and wishing that they had been offered more career guidance at the beginning of their career path (20%).
What’s more, although 7 in 10 (70%) had wanted to pursue a creative career when they were younger, a staggering 62% stated that they would not class their current job as creative. Indeed, when it came to respondents’ future careers, 55% stated that they would consider a career change, with almost half (42%) saying they would change to a more creative career.
When asked what they would change about their career choice if they could go back in time, 25% would have spent more time researching career options, and 17% would spend less time worrying about the opinion of others and pursue a career they enjoy. Respondents also stated that they would have chosen a university that offered more career support (17%), and some (15%) would go back and take more risks when choosing their career.
The data also shows that support in the early stages of decision making is key to choosing a fulfilling career. Indeed, lack of confidence (19%), lack of suitable contacts (15%) and lack of parental support (15%), were all cited as key reasons for not pursuing a creative occupation.
Professor Stuart Bartholomew CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, AUB commented:
“Our research offers insights into the importance of supporting people in their career choices, and enabling those who want to pursue a creative career to go down that path. People who have creative aspirations often do not act upon them due to a lack of support, and regret it further down the line. It is so important that Britain’s schools, colleges and universities invest in this early support. It is an investment in students’ future sense of fulfillment, and, as this data shows, improvement in this area is needed.
“At Arts University Bournemouth we place emphasis on helping our students forge strong careers with no regrets; we invest time and resources into career guidance to give the best possible start on the career ladder. With our strong connections to the wider industry, coupled with extensive experience we are in a strong position to deliver on this promise. This is evidenced by our strong graduate employment results. We are the leading UK University for employability with 97.4% of our graduates going into full time work or further education within six months of graduating.”
Placing high importance on the opinion of others was a trend for females throughout the survey, with 22% saying they wish they had done what they wanted rather than what others told them to, compared to only 13% of men. Women also struggle more with confidence in their creative skills, with 23% citing this as a reason for not going into a creative career, compared to only 15% of men.
As well as gender differences, the survey also discovered regional differences when it comes to career regrets. The North East has the most career regrets, with 24% admitting to having several. The city with the least career regrets was Liverpool, with an impressive 47% answering ‘no’ when asked if they regretted their career choices. The North East, Wales and London also had the highest percentage of people wishing they had chosen a more creative career, with Sheffield topping the tables with 37%.
The research was carried out by Censuswide between 22nd February and 25th February 2016, with 1,000 adults who have had a career.