Less than one in three school leavers choose career before starting work

Most school leavers stumbled into a job rather than chose their career, a poll has found.

A survey of 1,500 adults by jobs website Gumtree.com found 53% of people fell into their career purely by chance.

Just 29% said they specifically chose their career path and only 8% are doing something they have wanted to do since they were young.

About 47% of those surveyed said they were fulfilled by their careers but only three out of 10 people thought their friends and family felt the same way about their jobs.

Workers who said they were ambivalent or unhappy about their career choices were most likely to cite money (42%) and lifestyle (36%) as reasons for staying put.

Men were more likely to stay in a job because of cash and most women who had stuck with their employer rather than look for a job elsewhere said it was because where they were suited their lifestyle. 

Relatively few (13%) thought employers were not open to someone wanting to switch careers.

Gumtree.com spokesperson Sophy Silver said: “It is not really surprising that a lot of people value money above anything else when it comes to their careers.

“We are very much a work-to-live generation these days, with people looking to fund their lifestyles by working hard.”

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