Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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Developing career resilience

3.1 Personal and organisational principles

The number of people in the UK describing themselves as self-employed has increased dramatically since 2000 (Labour Force Survey, July–September quarterly data, 2000–2013 inclusive, cited in Dellot, 2014). Of course, many people also develop self-employed work alongside their full-time or part-time work. Either way, this is a resilient response to wider change. While employment rates have increased since the 2008 recession in the UK, self-employment has increased at a much faster rate (Labour Force Survey, July–September quarterly data, 2000–2013 inclusive, cited in Dellot, 2014).

Would you consider setting up independently, now or in the future? You wouldn’t be alone. While large companies tend to be the ones you hear most about, this can be misleading. In 2015, there were 4.1 million businesses in the UK that did not employ anyone beyond the owner (76% of the total), compared to 1.3 million businesses with employees (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2015).

Activity 7 Where are the jobs?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

In 2015 nearly 26 million employees worked in the UK private sector. Which proportion would you guess worked in which size organisation? Try to match the percentage of the UK workforce to the correct company size. Two of them have already been completed for you. Using the figures below, type into the boxes in the table to complete your guess.

  • 15% of the UK workforce, 4,010,000 employees
  • 12% of the UK workforce, 3,183,000 employees
  • 40% of the UK workforce, 10,260,000 employees

Table 2 UK private sector by size of company

Company sizePercentage of UK workforce (and total employees in private companies, UK, 2015)
Owner only, no employees17% of the UK workforce, 4,451,000 employees
1–9 employees
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10–49 employees15% of the UK workforce, 3,967,000 employees
50–249 employees
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250 or more employees
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Total99% (percentage does not total to 100 due to rounding), 25,871,000 employees
Words: 0
(adapted from Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2015, p. 3)
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Comment

Below is the table of figures completed:

Table 2 UK private sector by size of company

Company sizePercentage of UK workforce (and total employees in private companies, UK, 2015)
Owner only, no employees17% of the UK workforce, 4,451,000 employees
1–9 employees15% of the UK workforce, 4,010,000 employees
10–49 employees15% of the UK workforce, 3,967,000 employees
50–249 employees12% of the UK workforce, 3,183,000 employees
250 or more employees40% of the UK workforce, 10,260,000 employees
Total99% (percentage does not total to 100 due to rounding), 25,871,000 employees
(adapted from Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2015, p. 3)

Do the figures surprise you? While large firms do employ 40% of private sector staff – or 47% if you don’t count firms employing only one person – significant numbers of people are employed in firms with fewer than 50 employees. What might this mean for you and your career resilience?

People often focus their job search on larger employers. Think tactically and seek out the many opportunities with small firms.

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