Nearly three in 10 British workers dream of quitting the rat race and going solo

Robert Half unveils factors shaping the career ambitions of the modern workforce

London, 10 January 2018 - Research by leading recruitment specialist, Robert Half UK has revealed that nearly three in 10 employees dream of quitting the corporate world to become their own boss. When questioned on their ultimate dream job, 28% of people admitted they would love to lead their own business instead of working for someone else.

Of those harbouring ambitions to run their own business, for many it is a dream that they expect to fulfil. Nearly a quarter (23%) view it as a realistic career achievement that they can aim for.

Overall, 9% see their ultimate dream role as owner of a large business, typically an organisation with more than 250 employees. Given the complexities of building and scaling a business, 6% see it as a credible aspiration. More than three times that (19%) dream of becoming a small business owner, typically a business with less than 250 employees. In total, 17% see it as something that could become a reality offering them the freedom and fulfilment they are seeking in their careers.

“The desired working practices of today’s workforce is changing the future of work. We’re seeing employees looking for autonomy, flexibility and freedom. For many, there is an opportunity to leverage their skills and experience to set up their own business and become a specialist interim or contract worker supporting specific projects, business needs and challenges,” said Matt Weston, Director, Robert Half Management Resources. “What’s clear is that businesses need to adapt to these changes in order to attract these more ambitious and entrepreneurial candidates. As a result, employers need to cater for a working environment that demands greater autonomy and flexibility than ever before. By considering the long-term aims of both interim as well as permanent employees, businesses can enable the entire workforce to flourish.”

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Notes to editors
This study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in November 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 1,000 British employees in the UK. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and