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A quarter of Brits are stuck in a job they hate

Almost a quarter of working Brits are stuck in a job they hate because they are too afraid of change to quit, according to a survey published on Friday.

Over 2,000 people were polled by software firm FreeAgent – their answers reveal the extent to which fear of change is holding Brits back from achieving their goals and dreams. The result shows 22% of Brits only stay in their current job because they don’t know how to deal with change.

A staggering 71% of respondents said any sort of variation in their life can be hard to cope with, while eight in 10 claimed they have missed opportunities in the past because of their cautious nature.

One in 10 single people said they have backed away from someone they liked in the past year through fear of starting a relationship, and just as many said they gave up the chance to go on the “trip of a lifetime” because they were too apprehensive.

But the survey found even the smallest things such as online banking (19%) and contactless payments (20%) make many Brits nervous, as they feel handling their finances isn’t as simple as it used to be.

In fact, over a quarter (27%) of Brits confessed they struggle with anxiety when faced with any amount of change, and almost as many (24%) said straying from their usual routine makes them feel “panicked”.

Overall, Brits said their biggest concern for the immediate future is changes in their finances (43%), while almost a quarter (24%) said they are worried about economic uncertainty. These concerns are likely related to Brexit, as 42% of people said Britain’s impending departure from the EU is their biggest source of anxiety.

Interestingly, nearly seven in 10 Brits (68%) also said they think fear of change is completely irrational, and 38% said they wish they were more open to change. Over a third (34%) said they believe they would be better off if they were less afraid of change.

Almost one in 10 (9%) Brits said they have not switched energy suppliers despite better offers. Another 13% said they have stayed with their bank even though the service they receive leaves a lot to be desired.

The survey also found 15% of working Brits have doggedly stuck to the old way of doing things at work, despite new and more efficient systems having been introduced.

Ed Molyneux, CEO of FreeAgent, said: “We wanted to look at the nation’s change culture, and it’s startling to see how hard the majority of Brits finds it to deal with change of any sort. However, it’s also interesting that in many cases this fear of change actually turns out to be unfounded.”