Society Magazine

We’re a Nation of Optimists- Just Not When It Comes to Careers

Posted on the 28 February 2013 by 72point @72hub

Surprisingly enough, we’re actually a nation of optimists- just not when it comes to work. Despite the fact that the majority of people now opt for a ‘glass half full’ mentality, salary, career prospects and job security were ranked among the aspects of our lives that fill us with dread.

Indeed, six in ten people now claim to have a positive outlook overall- but only 44% are happy with their salary and career prospects, with just under half happy about their job security.

The situation is even worse if you’re a woman- as well as being more pessimistic overall, only four in ten are happy with the amount they’re earning, with men generally feeling more confident in their promotion prospects and financial situation.

Paul Keenan, spokesman for benenden health who conducted the survey of 2,000 adults, said:

“It’s interesting to see that men are more likely to adopt a more upbeat view overall – although that particular finding is likely to be a debate that will rumble on and on!

“Certainly, a positive attitude goes a long way towards creating a feeling of wellbeing which in turn can only be good for our long term health.

“This doesn’t detract from the fact that many families have real difficulties and struggles to face in the current economic climate – but perhaps serves to demonstrate that the British ‘stiff upper lip’ is alive and well in the 21st century.”

That pessimism is reinforced by the modest number of people actually taking positive action, as only 25% are aiming for a pay-rise at work- well under half of those who are unhappy with their salary.

Additionally, only 18% are keeping their ears to the ground with regards to new job opportunities, well under half of those unhappy with their career prospects.

One in five said that career issues are blocking them from feeling more optimistic about life- they probably battle through to avoid money issues, which cause 46% more stress than anything else.

Additionally, 10% of all those polled cited a recent redundancy or job scare as the main reason why their enthusiasm is drained.

Indeed, with the average person rating themselves at 64% happy, salary and career prospects lingering at just 44% shows a great deal of negativity.

However, a fairly patient one third of people studied would be more optimistic in life if their partner showed them more commitment.

Alongside that, eating a better diet and finally shaking a long term injury or illness all featured in the top 10 wishes for a brighter outlook, while more reassurance from the boss, time with the kids and even a favorite sports team performing better featured highly in the list.


1.    More sunny weather
2.    Just a couple of hundred pounds extra each month
3.    Less negative news items
4.    More affection from a partner
5.    Improving my diet
6.    Finding a job I like
7.    Finally shaking an illness/injury
8.    Reassurances from my boss
9.    More time spent with the kids
10.    My sports team performing better



Career Prospects
Current body shape/height
How other people see you
Overall finances
Job security


Love life
Sex life
Family life
Where they live

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