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UK retirees share their wisdom with today’s grads

London, 5 August 2015 - As the latest wave of UK graduates begin their job hunt, new research from Monster.co.uk reveals that the average retiree has worked for six companies, was most proud of being respected within their workplace and hit their earning peak at the age of 50. The study was conducted amongst recently retired full time workers to uncover insights and words of wisdom to pass onto graduates about to embark on their career.

The researched discovered that getting stressed (20 per cent), working long hours unnecessarily (14 per cent) and not having the ambition and confidence to push themselves up the career ladder (13 per cent) were the three biggest regrets. Earning a high salary was only a source of career pride for two per cent, highlighting that when people look back objectively on working life it’s not the monetary element that most springs to mind, but the more emotive aspects.

Biggest Regrets

The five biggest regrets from working life were:

- Getting too stressed about work (20 per cent)
- Working longer hours than needed (14 per cent)
- Not having the ambition and confidence to push themselves further (13 per cent)
- Staying in a job that wasn’t right (13 per cent)
- Not retiring earlier (8 per cent)

The Path to Success

Over a third of respondents (36 per cent) said that they would recommend looking for a new job every three to four years, while just as many (39 per cent) cited the value of keeping up to date with industry trends. Career success was closely linked to feeling respected; both within the industry and by colleagues, with 44 per cent naming this as the aspect they were most proud of when looking back at their career. Only two per cent cited financial rewards as their career highlight.


The advice focused on the importance of not becoming complacent in the workplace, and finding a fulfilling job rather than one that simply pays the bills. An overwhelming 57% agreed that it's important not to be scared to change jobs, whilst half of respondents (52 per cent) urged today's graduates to concentrate on finding one they love. One in three (33 per cent) agreed it was important to always do something that makes you happy.

There were some warnings too though, with a quarter cautioning against getting too drunk with colleagues and one in ten saying today's graduates should ensure they keep any work enemies close.

Andy Sumner, Managing Director of Monster.co.uk, UK and Ireland, commented:

"It can be very daunting entering the job market for the first time, and our research amongst recently retired workers offers some valuable and heartfelt insights that the younger generation should definitely pay attention too. As the research highlights, some of the biggest career regrets focus around not having the confidence to make a job change or staying in a work environment that deep down you know isn't right for you.

Work forms such a crucial part of our everyday lives, so it's really important people ensure they are in a role that fulfills them, and not just in the financial sense. Those entering the market should take the time to research and look into the sectors and roles that interest them, and not be scared to try different areas if something doesn't feel right. This is such an exciting time and, whether you realise it or not, at this stage in your life the world really is your oyster."

- Ends -

About the research

The research was conducted in July 2015 amongst 1,500 UK adults who retired in the last 10 years.

About Monster UK

Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent. Today, the company offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, and recruitment and talent management capabilities. Monster continues its pioneering work of transforming the recruiting industry with advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including our website monster.co.uk and a vast array of products and services. For more information visit info.monster.co.uk.

For further information please contact:

Maria Greenwood or Oliver Thomas
3 Monkeys Communications
020 7009 3100
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