Brits too proud to ask for career advice

New research reveals almost half of Brits have never asked for help

Michael Page, the global recruitment specialist, has unveiled new research, which reveals almost half of Brits (45 percent) have never asked for career advice, with one in 10 (10 percent) saying this is because they simply wouldn’t know who to ask.

The research comes as Michael Page launches the Career Chats podcast, a new series featuring a range of well-known figures discussing their careers, skills and lessons learned, while offering practical advice to listeners on how to achieve success in their own careers.

Michael Page’s research revealed there are significant barriers to people accessing career advice, with a quarter of Brits (25 percent) saying they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking anyone – friend, family or expert – for guidance. A tenth (10 percent) admitted they would feel embarrassed or too proud to do so, signalling that the traditional British ‘stiff upper lip’ may be hampering career prospects.

his is especially true given a third (34 percent) of Brits believe they have missed out on opportunities due to a lack of career guidance. One in 10 (10 percent) also declared they don’t feel like anyone understands their work needs, a sentiment that almost doubles amongst 18-34 year olds (17 percent).

In launching the Career Chats podcast, Michael Page hopes to offer inspiration from a series of unexpected mentors, including renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes; Bake Off finalist Ruby Bhogal; Ashes-winning cricketer, Matthew Hoggard; The Apprentice winner, Joseph Valente; and actor and former Hamilton lead, Ash Hunter.

A new episode will be released every Tuesday, with each celebrity mentor touching on a different theme, from resilience to standing out from the crowd. The weekly series will look to show a side of these figures that hasn’t been seen before and inspire listeners to identify their own hidden talents and apply learnings to their careers.

With the influence of celebrities continually increasing, and one in 20 (5 percent) Brits saying they would take guidance from a public figure, there is a clear opportunity for the podcast to help those not knowing who to turn to.

Just one in four (26 percent) Brits said they’d feel comfortable talking to a parent for career advice, with even less saying they’d approach a current or former colleague (21 percent).

Whilst friends topped the list of favoured advisors by a significant margin (42 percent), Brits failed to reach a consensus over who else to turn to. In fact, the research showed less than a quarter (22 percent) of people would choose to seek career advice in person, instead looking to career specific websites (27 percent) for help or, more concerningly, not taking advice at all (37 percent).

Speaking about the launch, Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director, Michael Page, said: “As experts on the UK job market, with knowledge of the latest opportunities, skills requirements and employment trends, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to support candidates in their job searches, and clients in their talent acquisition.

“This is why we are launching Career Chats, to give all audiences reassurance, inspiration and practical career tips in an easily accessible, stress free format. We are giving listeners unique access to a pool of mentors you wouldn’t normally expect, but with career advice that is applicable to a range of industries and backgrounds. We hope this podcast series will help those looking to change jobs by enabling them to recognise the skills they possess and those they need to succeed. This in turn will benefit employers, as better prepared candidates will assist in streamlining the recruitment process.”

To listen to Career Chats, tune in at, or on Audioboom, Spotify or iTunes. A new episode is released every Tuesday.

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