The most common career regrets

Sharing the most common career regrets…to help you avoid them!

Onrec has conducted its own research on this topic – and has a full report on its website. As this houses all their exclusive stats, you’ll really want to head there for a full and insightful read.

They explore:

  • How many people experience such regrets (this may surprise!)
  • The top 10 career regrets
  • Gender disparities
  • The actual risks that people wish they’d taken
  • Job satisfaction levels
  • The percentage of people whose jobs incorporate their ‘passions’
  • Alongside whether or not respondents feel they’ve left it too late to make a career change, among other topics.

Let’s take a look at those most common career regrets:

Out of respect for the exclusivity of this survey, we’ll only share five of the ten 10 regrets today. These include:

  1. Not ‘taking more initiative’
  2. A lack of mentorship or guidance
  3. Being too safe and ‘not taking more chances’
  4. Not keeping up a personal network
  5. Failing to leave a job you dislike sooner

What makes the findings so interesting:

Understanding others’ regrets can help you explore your own concerns and, potentially, avoid making the same mistakes in future. It can also help you to think more deeply about your career priorities. This is incredibly useful when deciding which industries you want to pursue, the jobs you should apply for and even the employers and teams you want to work with.

The above items aren’t necessarily those regrets you’d most expect to see and they may not have been topics you’ve ever considered. When did you last analyse how much initiative you take in your work? Or how much guidance you’ve had to get you to where you are today?

How to use these insights to your advantage…

  • Read the full list and see which items you identify with – both from past experience and what you most want to avoid.
  • For each item that concerns you, ask yourself what can you do to take control of this risk right now.
  • Make sure you stay smart. For example, leaving a job you dislike without having a better alternative lined up can leave you with yet another form of regret! Getting started with your job search while you’re still employed is usually a smarter option.
  • Tap into those you trust. By their nature, career regrets are personal and you’ll have to make your own decisions about what’s right for you. However, consider item 2 above. Where possible, seek out the advice and insights of trusted and experienced people. This may also include your family, friends and peers as well as industry professionals, including recruitment consultants who specialise in your target field. The REC will help you to identify professionally accredited Recruitment Agencies local to you.


Top most wanted trainee skills

Which trainee skills are employers on the lookout for?

Today’s stat source quotes the ACCA, which means the original research was exploring the accounting sector. But don’t disappear just yet! Even if you’re not looking to work in the finance field (which happens to be a prominent local employment sector), you’ll see just how many of these skills apply to other industries. All of them, really!

Even if you’re not a trainee, you should be developing these abilities. Especially if you’re looking to take your experience into a new line of work.

The 10 most wanted trainee skills include:

  1. ‘Strategic decision making’ abilities
  2. ‘Industry-specific knowledge’
  3. Technical confidence
  4. Communication abilities
  5. Demonstrating initiative
  6. Being open to change
  7. Able to meet deadlines
  8. Commitment and loyalty
  9. An eagerness to improve
  10. Excellent customer service

The original feature tells you a little more about how each skill relates to the accounting profession. So, it’s well worth a read if this is your target industry.

How to show employers you have these abilities…

As ever, you need to find ways to convey the link between these job skills and your work experience and achievements. Your CV and/or cover letters are just the place to highlight your core abilities.

It’s not good enough to simply say you can make strategic decisions. Give an example of when you’ve done this and its benefits – even if your example comes from a non-employment role, such as a voluntary position or university project.

As for the industry-specific knowledge, this is where you have to show you’ve done your research. Let interviewers know what you’ve learned about their sector and its challenges and how you can help overcome them. Remember, even trainees play a vital role in helping organisations reach their goals.

Work through the rest of the list and consider which skills you truly possess and how you can prove them. If there are any gaps in your skill-set see what you can do to build them.

Top tip: don’t forget to tailor your CV to any specific vacancies you’re applying for. Watch out for key phrases in job ads and apply the above technique to your application.

Ready to send your CV? Here’s what to include in your cover email to a recruitment agency. You can also register your CV and/or apply for jobs directly via our website.