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    Almost half of adults don’t think they’ve made a difference to society in their jobs

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    Almost half of adults don’t think they’ve made a difference to society in their jobs.

    Millions fear they haven’t contributed to the wider world in their career – whether by helping vulnerable people, the local community or the environment.

    As a result, 45 per cent feel guilt or shame about what they do for a living simply because they don’t think what they do is ‘vital’ – unlike a role such as a carer or charity worker. And the study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Bupa Care Homes, found more than half have even considered changing their careers to something more meaningful.

    It also emerged that the past nine months has inspired 47 per cent to do a job which gives something back. A quarter have already made the leap, leaving behind office jobs and retail roles to become fundraisers, teachers and healthcare workers.

    Melissa Moore, head of recruitment for Bupa Care Homes, said: “This year has really made many think about their role in society and what impact they make on other people’s lives. At the same time, it’s shone a light on the people making a difference – from charities to the frontlines of health and social care – so it’s no surprise to see people taking stock of their own careers. If you’re thinking of making a change, there’s never been a better time. Sectors like social care are seeing a boom in recruitment, with a big spike in people considering the sector for the first time.”

    Those polled also revealed what traits their ideal role would have – with a sense of fulfilment favoured by 54 per cent of people. Almost four in ten (38 per cent) wanted to make a difference to others, while 23 per cent agreed that the opportunity to meet new people was key. However, 44 per cent admitted a lack of time is holding them back from making positive changes, along with not knowing how to get involved in such a role (22 per cent), and doubts over whether they’ll be good at it.

    Melissa Moore, added: “Experience isn’t everything, it’s about transferable skills. For example, in our care homes we’ve seen a huge increase in people applying from outside the sector. Over the last year we’ve welcomed colleagues from all sorts of sectors, but particularly retail, leisure and tourism. From holiday entertainers to hairdressers, we’ve seen a diverse mix of new joiners. Far from being under qualified, they bring great skillsets and new ways of thinking. If you can provide this, employers will snap you up and help you learn on the job.”

    The study also found three quarters of those polled placed a higher importance on job security as a result of the pandemic. Like many social care providers, Bupa has seen a spike in recruitment as people look to more stable sectors. At its peak, applications rose by some 30 per cent since the beginning of the year. As a result, the company is currently appointing more than 200 new roles each month, across more than 130 care homes nationwide, ranging from carers and nurses, through to chefs, housekeepers and management.

    Outside of people’s careers, researchers found 54 per cent of adults have been making steps to benefit society outside of work. The most common activities included giving to charity shops (55 per cent), donating to food banks (38 per cent) and checking in on elderly neighbours (26 per cent). Another 22 per cent also donate blood, while one in five undertake challenges to raise money for charity or donate their time at events and fundraisers.

    Melissa Moore, said: “Now more than ever, it’s important to find the ways to end the day with a smile on your face. Whether that’s through supporting charities or finding the job that you love, it’s great to see so many people wanting to make a difference.”

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    Hayley Somerscales

    All stories by: Hayley Somerscales