New Careers Study from Accor Reveals Perception of Dream Jobs, Careers in Hospitality and the Key Motivators for the British Workforce

Chefs in a kitchen
The ultimate job role needs to include the opportunity to travel (35 per cent), regular pay rises (45 per cent) and not being stuck behind a desk all day (26 per cent).

Almost half of employed adults believe the dream job DOESN’T exist – with flexible working topping the list of most wanted requirements, according to a new study from global hospitality group, Accor.

A study of 2,000 workers found 64 per cent are not currently in the industry they dreamed of being in and 71 per cent are not in their intended role. While 46 per cent don’t believe the dream job exists, and 41 per cent admitted their own ideal career isn’t a realistic goal.

The ultimate role would also need to include the opportunity to travel (35 per cent), regular pay rises (45 per cent) and not being stuck behind a desk all day (26 per cent).

Other things a dream job should entail were no day being the same (25 per cent), free food and drink (21 per cent) and opportunities to go to events (20 per cent) and work in other countries (18 per cent). 

It also emerged healthcare, creative arts and design and leisure, sport and tourism are the top industries employed adults’ ultimate career would be in.

But 54 per cent don’t think they’ll ever be in their dream job role or industry.

The research was commissioned by Accor to mark the launch of TV show, Fred’s Last Resort on E4, where young recruits will be put to the test within the demanding industry of luxury hospitality, resulting in one of them winning a life and career-changing role with Accor in London, enjoying bespoke training placements at Novotel London Canary Wharf, Sofitel London St James and The Savoy, a Fairmont managed hotel. The tailored programme will include Training & Development via the Accor Academy to support the winner’s professional development, a dedicated mentor throughout the year and a tailored career programme in each hotel dependant on their area of interest, gaining experience and know-how from some of the industry-leading experts.

The research found a third (32 per cent) of those polled have worked in the hospitality industry at some point and 60 per cent were satisfied with the job. Despite this, 17 per cent admitted they see the likes of working in a hotel, restaurant or bar as a ‘stepping stone’ career and 16 per cent are under the impression there is a lack of flexibility.

Fred Sirieix said: “The hospitality industry offers such great opportunities for people, which is why I am still so passionate about it and love it just as much as the first day I started.

“However, the sector has an image problem in the UK and I’m on a mission to change that.

“Too many people see the industry as a stepping-stone at best, but most of them don’t appreciate how rewarding it can be. A true profession!”

The research also found, of the age groups polled the younger demographic of 18-24 year old’s are most willing to consider a career in hospitality (41 per cent). A further 29 per cent of 25-34 year old’s also would, compared to just 16 per cent of the population as a whole.

Sophie Kilic, SVP Talent & Culture at Accor, said: “When new talents start their career, they often have an idea of what they want to do, but often end up compromising, whether that’s on the hours, pay or industry itself.

“The research shows that while people think their dream job doesn’t exist, a lot of the things people are looking for in their job now are very achievable, like having flexibility and variety and simply enjoying their day-to-day role.

“It’s true that hospitality has not always been positively perceived in this country, but role models like Fred are doing a great job to change that. There is still a lack of awareness about where a hospitality career can take you, but as the survey suggests we are seeing more interest from younger generations who begin to realise that their aspirations – whether they are about career progression, variety, travel, finances, flexibility or just fun – can be easily met in the right hospitality setting.”

According to the study, perception and reality often don’t align in our careers. Almost a third (32 per cent) of all those polled admitted they have less job satisfaction than they thought they’d have in their current role. And 24 per cent feel their job isn’t what they expected it would be.

The typical worker has been in their current role for eight years, but 41 per cent aren’t earning as much as they’d like to be at this stage. While 20 per cent are frustrated they haven’t progressed further than they have.  Many are also dissatisfied with the amount of opportunities they have to travel (39 per cent) and how much fun they have at work (36 per cent).

The OnePoll survey found job enjoyment came top of the most important factors to people in their career (63 per cent), followed by the pay and benefits (61 per cent) and flexibility (39 per cent).

Fred Sirieix added: “I’ve always worked hard, I’m first in and last out and I attribute a lot of my success to that work ethic. That pride in a job well done, and the hard work needed to get there is what I’ve learnt in hospitality and for me is the key to career contentment and success no matter what the sector.“

Fred’s Last Resort starts on E4 on 14th March.

Top 40 Things Workers’ Dream Job Would Include:

  1. Flexible hours 
  2. Strong financial rewards       
  3. Regular pay rises      
  4. Good employee benefits       
  5. The opportunity to travel      
  6. A fun team    
  7. Varied day to day jobs
  8. Not sat at a desk all day       
  9. Where no day is the same    
  10. The opportunity to make people happy       
  11. Unlimited holiday      
  12. Free food / drinks e.g. breakfast, tea, coffee supplied etc   
  13. Health/dental insurance       
  14. Opportunity to be creative    
  15. The opportunity to go to events       
  16. The opportunity to work in other countries   
  17. Birthday off without having to take annual leave     
  18. Learn on the job       
  19. The opportunity to regularly meet new people
  20. Discounts via employee benefits e.g. in high street shops, on holidays etc
  21. Casual uniform
  22. The opportunity to learn transferable skills   
  23. Speaking face to face with people    
  24. Opportunity to be proactive  
  25. Not just Monday to Friday hours      
  26. Quick career progression
  27. Opportunity to earn tips / bonuses   
  28. The opportunity to take a sabbatical 
  29. Parental benefits       
  30. Opportunity to have a work car       
  31. Team ‘away days’     
  32. Having genuine responsibility from early in my career       
  33. Allowed to bring your pet to work    
  34. On-site gym  
  35. Regular social events with colleagues
  36. The opportunity to meet celebrities  
  37. Nap rooms    
  38. Planning events        
  39. Opportunity to have a work phone   
  40. Opportunity to work days and nights  
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