Mum & dad…you’re failures

By Charlotte Hope – Lifestyle Editor

I always thought my parents did quite well for themselves (thank you very much) but it turns out they didn’t, they are beneath me; strange as I still borrow cash off them. But it turns out I am in the minority, as according to new research modern Brits believe they are more successful than their parents ever were.

A study of 2,000 current British workers looked at the relationship between their careers and the working life of their parents and found more than half feel they have done far better professionally.

Nearly two thirds have reached a higher level of education than mum or dad, while 56 per cent said they’ve gone on to earn a bigger salary. However, one in six Brits believe their parents are disappointed in the career path they ended up in.

The research also unearthed the dwindling trend of following the career path of a parent and found less than a fifth now do a job that is even remotely similar to their mum or dad’s, with the money not being good enough among the top reasons.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of the Association Accounting Technicians, which commissioned the research, said: ‘’The results show today’s generation believe that they experience far more success than their parents – whether this is in terms of their salary, education or the level they reach in their chosen career.

‘’Perhaps this is a sign that young people today have more freedom than their parents did in choosing a career path that is right for them, and as a result can expect to flourish.

‘’While the tradition of following a parent’s profession is dying out parents still play a key role in influencing the success of their child, namely in pushing them to achieve more than they did via further education.

‘’University study can set students up well for future careers but it’s important to remember that this is not the only avenue for success.”

The study found that when it comes to education, young people are more likely to surpass their parents, with nearly half of today’s generation going to university compared to just 22 per cent of their parents.

Financially, almost one in four have gone on to earn more than one of their parents, while another 33 per cent have out-earned both.

Of the 79 per cent who have taken a different route to their parents, the biggest reason not to follow a similar line of work to the parents was a general lack of interest in that area, followed by the money not being good enough to bother pursuing.

And more than one in ten said they couldn’t follow a parent’s career path because that job no longer exists today.

The research, also found that building a business spanning generations may also be fading-just four per cent of those polled were in their current job because it was part of the family business.

However, Mum and Dad do still influence our careers even if we aren’t following their paths with almost half agreeing that their parents were a massive or quite an influence on their career.

Over half, 55 per cent, said their parents influenced their decision to go into higher education, with almost one in five admitting they were forced to choose that option.

In terms of influence on career choice parents came above teachers and careers advisors with 40 per cent agreeing that either Mum or Dad was the biggest source of influence on their career.

While one fifth said their parents pushed them towards a certain career and, where this happened, those people ended up in that particular industry in two thirds of cases.

It also emerged those who did end up going into a similar field to either parent were three times more likely to have experienced pressure to go a certain way.

This however, seems to have paid off as those who follow a similar working route to a parent do earn more overall with the average salary #26,000 versus #24,700 for those who chose a completely different path.

The results also found men were more likely than women to have always planned to follow in their parent’s footsteps and that men also experienced more pressure to follow a certain route approved by their parents perhaps due to the tradition of fathers passing on their business to their sons.

Interestingly, and perhaps an emerging trend, is that one in eight men revealed a desire to follow in mum’s footsteps.

Girls were more than twice as likely to follow a similar path to their mother over their father’s career.

In fact, the study suggests the most common career path Brits will follow their parents in to were environmental services and telecoms.

These are followed by finance, manufacturing and the marketing professions.

Top 10 reason Brits don’t follow parent’s careers

  1. I am not interested in either of their careers
  2. Their jobs are low paid
  3. Their jobs don’t exist anymore
  4. Their jobs are boring
  5. Their jobs are low skilled jobs
  6. Their jobs aren’t challenging
  7. Their jobs seem really stressful
  8. Their jobs seem difficult
  9. Their jobs seem really time consuming
  10. They seem to have a lot of problems with work

Top 10 professions children will follow their parents footsteps in to

1.Environmental Services






7.Travel and tourism




Photocredit Wikipedia

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