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The key to finding happiness at work is fulfilling your childhood ambitions, research reveals

People working in IT and Telecoms and construction are the happiest


New research by Microsoft Surface found that nearly nine in 10 (88%) people who have the job they dreamed of as a kid are happy with their career.

Londoners are the happiest at work, with 72% content in their chosen career.

When it comes to specific sectors, people working in IT and Telecoms and construction are the happiest (80% each) – it’s worth pointing out that workers in both of these areas are most likely to have followed their childhood ambitions (54% and 56% respectively).

So, forget earning lots of money or getting promoted; for most Brits, the key to finding happiness is doing the job they have dreamed of since they were young.



Microsoft is unveiling three new Surface devices – the Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X – all combining portability, power, usability and battery life so people can work or play whenever and wherever they are.

In doing so, they can achieve more in their personal and professional lives, whether that’s by improving the quality and efficiency of their work, freeing up time to spend with friends and family or taking steps to achieve the career they’ve always dreamed of.



Microsoft hosted a live storytelling session with DJs and Kid Normal writers Greg James and Chris Smith at its flagship Store in London on October 22 – and the public was invited to take part and try out the devices.

Together with an illustrator, the pair created a light-hearted and imaginative story taking a look at careers and ambitions through the eyes of children and adults, all using the new Surface devices and based on ideas submitted by visitors to the Store or on Twitter via #CreatedonSurface.



The research

Microsoft spoke to more than 3,000 adults aged 18-65 across the UK…

  • Less than a third (28%) of Brits feel they have landed the career they dreamed of as a kid

  • 47% of those who haven’t achieved their childhood aspirations say they’re dissatisfied at work

  • More than half (54%) would start their careers all over again if given the chance

  • Only one in five (22%) said they would apply for a similar role to the one they’re in now

  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) would do something completely different if they lost their job

  • More than half (54%) rated technological skills as the most important ability for younger generations to develop, followed by problem solving (48%), communication (48%) and flexibility (45%)


“It’s clear from this research that Brits want to follow careers they’re passionate about. But doing so requires access to the right skills and technologies. That’s where Microsoft can help, providing people with the tools they need to unlock their creativity, be more productive and, ultimately, fulfill their ambitions”

Simon Lambert


The research also uncovered some significant discrepancies in happiness levels across different age groups and areas of the country…

  • More than half (56%) of those aged 18-34 believe they have followed their dreams – double the national average of 28% and six times higher than 55-64 year olds at 14%

  • Nearly three quarters (72%) of Londoners claim to be happy in their current career but only 56% of people in the East Midlands say the same

  • Men are 33% more likely to have met their childhood ambitions than women

  • Three in five (59%) feel maintaining a good work/life balance will be vital to our happiness in the future

  • A similar number (56%) urge younger generations to take every opportunity to learn something new throughout their life and careers