General
12 Jan 2015

Workers "Close to Burn Out" in Pursuit of Pay Rise and Promotion

Qualifications not overtime matter most to employers, as UK urged to work smarter not harder

Eight in 10 Britons are overworked, with almost a third "burnt out" or "very overworked", according to a new survey from The Open University. Employees believe that working longer hours is one of the best ways to earn a promotion or pay rise despite being considered important by just one in ten employers. With just 15% entirely happy with their career, The Open University, the UK's largest academic institution, is urging Britons to make 2015 the year of their career by exploring more effective methods of career progression.

In improving economic conditions, nearly two-thirds of us regularly work overtime, with nearly 10% working at least an extra 40 hours per month; a full working week. However, whilst a quarter of employers said they merited staff who met deadlines and targets, a greater number (46%) cited work-related qualifications gained through additional education, as a reason to offer a pay rise or promotion. Other things viewed favourably by employers were staff who went on training courses and who were eager to learn new job skills.

Helping Britain's workforce to progress and enhance their careers, The Open University is releasing a 'Guide to Fast-Tracking Your Career' containing expert advice from its Careers Advisory Service to help people work smarter, without working harder. The guide will be an invaluable resource for those who want to take their career to the next level.

Despite further qualifications and training being so highly valued by employers, just 11% of workers recognise the value of doing so. In 2015, the range of options available means that part-time study has never been more flexible and accessible. For many, the skills and knowledge learnt can be put to use in the workplace almost immediately.
Keith Zimmerman, Director, Students at The Open University says:
"The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your career and make decisions to change it for the better. The survey shows that people in the UK work very hard but some overlook the more effective means of achieving career goals."

"For more than 40 years we’ve seen at the OU how part-time study can impact on careers, whether in terms of offering a boost, or even setting out on a new path entirely. We also hear from employers how our students are able to take the knowledge they have learned on their course and apply it directly in the workplace. With higher-level skills more important to our national economy than ever, now is the perfect time to think about whether you’ve got the right ones.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors
*Research of 1,000 UK adults and 1,000 employers commission by The Open University – November 2014

Link to Guide to Fast-Tracking Your Career: http://www.open.ac.uk/choose/ou/guide

The Open University’s research also highlighted the following findings:

Top ten things people believe will earn a promotion or pay rise

•Meeting deadlines (37%)
•Meeting targets (37%)
•Working longer hours (33%)
•Learning new job skills (23%)
•Being a team player (18%)
•Going on work related training courses (17%)
•Working through lunch hour (15%)
•Dressing for success (13%)
•Being first in the office (12%)
•Work more efficiently (12%)

Top ten things employers really look for when offering pay rises or promotions
•Gaining qualifications, through additional education, that help them become better at their job (46%)
•Going on work-related training courses (33%)
•Gaining work-related knowledge through free online courses or by reading relevant books and/or articles (26%)
•Meeting deadlines (25%)
•Meeting targets (23%)
•Being eager to gain new job skills (22%)
•Working more efficiently (19%)
•Being a team player (19%)
•Winning new business (18%)
•Working as hard as possible to make things easy for a supervisor/manager (15%)

Top ten qualities employers look for in their staff
•Honesty (38%)
•Self-motivation (38%)
•The right experience (37%)
•Keen to expand their skill set (35%)
•Has the right qualifications (34%)
•A positive attitude (30%)
•Hardworking (27%)
•Takes the initiative (26%)
•Dependable (25%)
•Intelligent (24%)

How people feel about their careers in general
•Stuck in a rut (20%)
•Bored and demotivated (18%)
•Happy (15%)
•Quite happy, but believes could do better (14%)
•Indifferent (11%)
•Would love to retrain and do something else (9%)
•Chose the wrong career path (8%)

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