That dream job is just that for most workers who are stuck in a post they don’t want.
Just seven workers in every 100 reckon they have the perfect job and more than half spend their working day wishing they were doing another job, according to a survey for the University of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
The jobs people really want to do are mainly in arts and science, management, technology and healthcare.
Older workers are less likely to bother looking for a better job than their younger colleagues, the poll showed.
While 80% of workers aged under 30 wanted to switch career, the numbers declined as workers aged.
Unexpected career path
The figure dropped to two-thirds of workers aged between 30 and 40, and to 54% for those in their 40s.
Sadly three-quarters of workers confessed they had failed to stick to job plans they had when younger and are now following an unexpected career path.
The survey also revealed women are less likely to be in a job they want to do, as are non-graduates, who have had to compromise over their career expectations.
It’s not only employees who are unhappy. Only a fifth of the self-employed are in a career they want even though they have a better chance of making changes than an employee.
Where someone lives also has a bearing on job satisfaction.
The survey revealed more people were living their dream in San Francisco (22%) than Dallas, Fort Worth or Los Angeles (all 8%).
Workers have to adapt
Around two-thirds of workers in New York, Atlanta and LA would consider a job switch.
Although the survey was US-based, a similar UK survey from the Office of National Statistics disclosed people tended to work in specific sectors according to where they lived.
For example, anyone living in Newham, London, is twice as likely to work in an office as workers living in other areas, while certain regions rely more on tourism than others.
“Workers are always contemplating a change of job because they perceive another post would offer them more personal satisfaction,” said one of the research team leaders Dr Bill Pepicello.
“Few people choose a career and stay with that choice throughout their working life. Technology and economic change has seen industries rise and fall in a relatively short time, which means workers have to adapt and change jobs to keep working.”