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UK – Well-educated women over 40 are the most fulfilled

16 January 2014

Research from recruitment giant Randstad reveals that ambitious women are getting the most out of work. UK workers who describe themselves as ‘very fulfilled’ in their professional lives are most likely to be well-educated women ages 40. They are also likely to be confident, with a positive personality, and have a job in a secure or stable industry that offers a good work/life balance.  

Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK and the Middle East, said: “As the debate about equal opportunities at work continues, it’s inspiring to see that women are on top in terms of fulfilment. Clearly, not everyone in the UK can be a well-educated, 40 year old woman. But you don’t have to fit the typical profile of a ‘very fulfilled’ worker in order to reach your full potential and feel more fulfilled in your career.

“Our research has shown that the majority of those who describe themselves as fulfilled feel the key to achieving it is firmly in their own hands. It’s up to us to determine how engaged we are in our day-to-day work. Employers play their part, of course, but many of us need to grasp the nettle and proactively make changes to increase our fulfilment.”  

The findings also showed how the profile of the average UK worker compares to their most fulfilled peers. A typical member of the UK workforce is likely to be aged 42, earn £29,000 per year and feel ‘moderately fulfilled’. In contrast to those who say they are ‘very fulfilled’, the average UK worker says they are only confident occasionally and are more likely to lay credit any lack of professional fulfilment at the door of their employer. 

The research also explored levels of fulfilment by industry sector and found that the industry with the highest proportion of ‘very fulfilled’ workers is construction, property and engineering. Over a third (34%) of those working in the sector say they are very fulfilled in their jobs, more than twice the UK average of 16%.

Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK and the Middle East, said: “Sadly, you may not find many 40 year old women working within the construction sector. However, construction staff do tend to work in a vocational environment and often derive a real sense of satisfaction from seeing a project develop from the ground up which is why they have such a high proportion of ‘very fulfilled’ staff within the workforce.”

“Similarly, staff within education, social work and healthcare will also have a strong sense of vocation and derive satisfaction from helping others and all of these characteristics fit the typical profile of a ‘very fulfilled’ worker,” he concluded. 

INDUSTRY Very fulfilled
Construction (inc. Property & Engineering) 34%
Farming 25%
Professional services (Legal, HR, Marketing) 24%
Teachers 24%
Social Work 22%
Hospitality 21%
Doctors / Nurses 20%
IT 18%
Manufacturing 12%
Public Sector 12%
Arts / Entertainment 10%
Financial Services / Accountancy 9%
Administration / Support Services 8%
Transport 7%
Telecoms 7%
Wholesale / Retail 6%
Utilities & Water 6%


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