Making a difference is top priority for second career

Becoming a charity worker is one of the top choices for British workers considering a second career, according to a survey by insurer Norwich Union Life. More than a quarter would also like their current employers to give them time off to do charity or pro bono work.

According to the survey of more than 1,200 fulltime workers, almost half of Britons want a more compassionate career by the age of 45, reflecting a trend for what the researchers call “Zenployment”.

Two thirds of respondents said they are “unfulfilled”, “miserable” or “drifting” in their current jobs, and 27 per cent said that “making a difference to others” was the top priority in a second career.

More than half said they would happily earn less in a job that made them feel better about themselves, but two thirds said they weren’t taking up compassionate careers immediately because of financial commitments.

Apart from “charity worker/volunteer”, other popular choices of second career included animal welfare officer, counsellor, gardener and climate campaigner.

Volunteering England’s head of information, Mark Restall, said he was pleased to see interest in volunteering coming from individual employees. “But volunteering in itself is the perfect way to test a second career, gaining experience and knowledge about the sector works,” he said.

Janet Fleming, Head of the Workforce Hub, said the sector could benefit from people’s desire for a fulfilling career. “We need to ensure that those who want to do more in their current job know how to volunteer their expertise through pro bono work and to volunteer, for example, by becoming trustees,” she said.

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