Majority of British workers admit to feeling ‘creatively stifled’, reveals survey

Over half of workers express having a number of regrets leading up to their current job roles

Britain has been revealed to be a nation of stifled creatives, according to a recent survey from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB).

The institution recently polled 1,000 people who have had a career from across the UK to find 63 per cent wish they were in a role where they could make more use of their creative skills.

As well as this, over half (54 per cent) of Brits expressed having a number of career regrets, including not investing enough time when choosing a job in the first instance (23 per cent), their choice of school, college, or university (21 per cent), and wish they had been offered more guidance at the beginning of their career path (20 per cent).

Despite seven in ten respondents revealing how they had wanted to pursue a creative career when they were younger, a staggering 62 per cent stated they would not class their current job as creative. When it came to respondents’ future job roles, 55 per cent said they would consider a career change, with 42 per cent saying they would actively go out of their way to move into a more creative role.

When asked what they would change about their career choice if they could go back in time, a quarter would have spent more time researching career options, and 17 per cent would spend less time worrying about the opinion of others and pursue a career they enjoy.

Respondents also stated they would have chosen a university that offered more career support (17 per cent), while 15 per cent would go back and take more risks when choosing their career.

The data also shows support in the early stages of decision-making is key to choosing a fulfilling career; lack of confidence (19 per cent), lack of suitable contacts (15 per cent), and lack of parental support (15 per cent), were all cited as key reasons for not pursuing a creative occupation.

AUB’s Professor Stuart Bartholomew, principal and vice-chancellor, emphasised the importance of supporting people in their career choices, and enabling those who want to pursue a creative career to go down that path. He said: “People who have creative aspirations often do not act upon them due to a lack of support - and regret it 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.”

Regional differences also came to light when discussing the topic of career regrets; the North East had the most (24 per cent), while Liverpool came out as being the least regretful with 47 per cent being content.

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 per cent.

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