The 10 most miserable professions

Want to whistle while you work? Then make sure you steer clear of these 10 unhappy industries

Fed up with your job? Then spare a thought for those poor lawyers – yes, you read that correctly - and paralegals.

According to new research, the most unhappy workers in the UK are those toiling away in the legal profession, with 40% of employees complaining that they dislike their job.  

Of those working in the industry, 54% say they think their career was a mistake, while 37% are thinking of leaving the sector.

But don’t assume things are any better for factory workers, waiting staff or estate agents.

According to the survey of 2,000 workers on behalf of electronic payments specialist Kalixa Pro, manufacturing is the second most miserable industry, with 37% of workers complaining of unhappiness, while hospitality and property came joint third with 36% of employees in these sectors saying they are discontent.

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Two thirds of workers in the property sector admit that their career was a mistake, with 39% of those working in hospitality saying that they plan to switch industries.

Staff in the environmental services, health and telecoms sectors, as well as those working for the Government, are also miserable.

The top 10 unhappiest industries, according to the survey:


1. Legal
2. Manufacturing
3. Hospitality
4. Property
5. Environmental services
6. Health
7. Telecoms
8. Construction
9. Finance
10. Government/public services

All in all, 47% of workers surveyed think they have already gone as far as they can in their career, while two in 10 say their job in ‘meaningless’ and too stressful and 15% complain that the hours are too long.

Researchers also found that 14% of employees don’t care about their job, while many say that they hate their boss and receive little or poor training.

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According to the survey, which marks the launch of Kalixa Pro's Spirit of Small Business Awards, 70% of UK employees are now considering working for themselves. The poll also found that respondents' top 10 ideal jobs included running a café, owning a bed and breakfast and writing a novel.

“It’s shocking to see that so many people are unhappy in their jobs, but great to see that some are turning their dreams into a reality,” said Colin Swain, global head of product at Kalixa Group.

“Sole traders and small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK.”

However, Michelle Mone OBE, owner of Ultimo and an ambassador for Kalixa Pro says employees should be aware that starting up a new business isn't easy.

“With many disillusioned employees thinking of a change of career, it’s important to remember that running your own business is hard work!" she said.

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“Of course, that’s not to say the rewards don’t outweigh the more difficult times.  If you are looking to set up alone, don’t be under any illusion that it’s the easy option - a third of small business owners are making less money and working longer hours than they expected.”