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Insights on money, career and trading

Insurance offers the best chance of a promotion, say aspiring professionals

Posted on July 10, 2013 by Daniel at 1:35 am


Aspirational advertising executives, film-makers, journalists and publishers who are struggling to overtake the deadwood on the career ladder might want to consider a new job: insurance.

In fact, any British worker could do worse than move into this ostensibly unsexy industry because it offers the best chance of a promotion, according to new research.

Three quarters of insurance professionals were happy with career progression in their industry, a poll of 2,000 British workers by Randstad, the recruiters, found.

At the other end of the happiness league table, 12 per cent of media types were content with the way their careers were moving. The mood across the workforce was not generally good, with more than three in five complaining that their careers were not progressing as planned.

Mark Bull, the UK chief executive of Randstad, blamed “career blockers”, underperforming managers, for frustrating the aspirations of junior workers who wanted to climb past them on the ladder. He said that these young professionals were starting to look for work elsewhere because their managers were not promoting them.

“If this was a conventional downturn,” he said, “most employees would have accepted the lack of promotions as a temporary setback or the price of protecting their job in difficult times. But this isn’t a temporary downturn and as a result, the UK is left with a talent time-bomb that’s likely to go off as alternative jobs become available.

“Among the top 15 per cent of the workforce, outside of sectors like financial services and insurance, three in every five employees say they aren’t happy with their career progression. If companies aren’t forward-thinking in their talent management they will see their top 15 per cent go elsewhere.”

Perhaps a measure of high street gloom, two thirds of retailers were unhappy with the way their careers were progressing. Accountants were even less content, with nearly three quarters downbeat. Wholesalers, social carers, engineers and rail workers also scored below the national happiness average of 38 per cent.

Almost three in five property professionals were happy with their career progression, second only to insurance professionals, while 55 per cent of lawyers were content.

Fewer than half of financial services, leisure, health and IT and telecoms professionals were upbeat but all scored above the national average.

At 38 per cent contentedness, education professionals were as happy as the average British worker with their prospects for furthering their careers.

Although better pay was the chief concern when hunting a promotion 12 years ago, today, learning new things, meeting new people and working across a range of projects were considered more important factors.

A separate survey by Randstad found that three in five workers had taken on extra work as a result of the financial downturn, without additional compensation.

A recent report by Adecco, another recruitment company, found that nearly half of workers under 30 expected a promotion every two years.

Insights on money, career and trading