Employees put satisfaction before success

LORNA MARSH Britain's bosses face a career exodus from forty-somethings as half of the country's workers chase personal fulfilment over finance in a new career trend labelled Zenployment, Norwich Union warned last night.

LORNA MARSH

Britain's bosses face a career exodus from forty-somethings as half of the country's workers chase personal fulfilment over finance in a new career trend labelled Zenployment, Norwich Union warned last night.

In a reversal of the 80s yuppy trend the insurance group found the majority of employees put satisfaction before success.

Researchers found that 47pc of the Brits surveyed want a second more compassionate career that offers the chance to make a difference by the age of 45.

Two-thirds told researchers they were unfulfilled, miserable or drifting in their jobs, and more than half claimed they would happily earn less money in a role that made them feel better about themselves.

Animal welfare worker, counsellor, charity worker, gardener, climate campaigner and yoga teacher feature on the list of compassionate careers being planned.

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But more than one in four are calling on their employers to provide them now with the opportunity to do unrelated charity work in their field.

Simon Quick, who led the study at Norwich Union, said "the road to Zen" was, on average, a nine-year plan, with 36 the typical age at which those planning second careers begin preparing.

More than one in four put making a difference to others top of their second career agendas - twice the number who want to make money.

The traditional retirement path of their parents is being rejected by 50pc who said they want to continue a fulfilling career path. But financial commitments, lack of training or qualifications and also fear of failure restricts workers from moving into compassionate careers now.

Mr Quick said: "Once we dreamed of retirement to a country cottage or villa abroad, but this research reveals British workers now aim to do something that offers them fulfilment in the second stage of their lives.

"That clearly has a major impact on our financial planning, and those hoping to downsize to perhaps less lucrative, but more compassionate careers, need to consider now how they can finance that life change."

William Nelson, of trend analysts the Future Foundation, said: "This research is further evidence that we're entering a new era, with a society that is less selfish and increasingly focused on personal fulfilment.

"In fact, rising affluence and high employment levels mean most of us now feel pretty secure in providing for our basic needs, especially once we are established in careers and the housing market.

"The ethical and spiritual dimensions of work therefore are more of a priority, and people want to believe their careers contribute towards a better future - not just for themselves but for society as a whole."

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