The key statistics of our life at work have been added up, from boss bust-ups, hours worked and kettles boiled.

We’ll rack up an astonishing 9,024 hours of unpaid overtime in our life’s career, the poll showed – equating to a loss of £153,408.


But we make up for (sort of) with an estimated 29,328 cups of tea, 94 days off sick and being late 141 times. Which kind of (but not really) takes the edge off.


The average UK adult’s professional life is made up of six jobs, nine pay rises, three bust-ups with colleagues – and one office romance, the recent study has revealed.

Experts who examined in detail every aspect of a standard 47 years in the working world also found the average worker will start on around £8,000 a year in their first job.

From there, they will work for six different companies on their journey to job satisfaction, with 46% who will quit and re-train completely after deciding their career isn’t for them.


Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), which commissioned the study said: “It’s revealing to see that the average person will work for at least six different companies over a lifetime, proving that the traditional ‘job for life’ may well be a thing of the past.”

“It’s more common now to seek a sense of worth at work rather than see a job as just a way to pay the bills.”

“Our surroundings, fellow colleagues and day-to-day tasks also have a huge influence on our job satisfaction.’’ You’ve got that right.

The study polled 2,000 adults on their work life so far, and estimated the lifetime figures based on starting work at 18 and retiring at 65.


In fact, when seeking ‘pastures new’ we will apparently typically endure an average of ten job interviews – but an unlucky one in ten will plough through the interview process over 25 times…

Three major bust-ups will occur over the years, either with clients, colleagues or the boss; but small disagreements in the workplace will raise their ugly head more frequently at 15 times a year.


And though the typical employee will enjoy one office romance, a busy 6 per cent will rack up to five or more.

With this in mind it’s no surprise that the average worker will hear six pieces of juicy gossip through the rumour mill.


Indeed, it would seem our noses are too close to the grindstone, as over half (54%) said they believe their commitment to work has impacted their relationships and personal lives.

Over six in ten said trying overly hard to progress has disrupted their work-life balance, with 39% admitting to changing jobs completely purely to restore it.

In fact, 46% said they’d quit a job they’d had for years for better job satisfaction, even if it meant re-training or gaining new qualifications.

A (typical) lifetime of work will see…


1 office romance
2 bad bosses
3 heavy bust-ups
6 job roles
6 different companies
9 pay rises
94 sick days
Late 141 times
705 minor disagreements
9,024 hours of overtime
29,328 cups of tea

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