Onrec logo The Online Recruitment Resource

71.5% of Brits say work has a negative impact on their self-esteem

According to new research from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, 71.5% of the nation’s workers believe that their career has had a negative impact on their self-esteem, with a further 55.7% feeling that they place too much importance on their job.

Company Profile


The study, which surveyed 1,200 UK workers, explored the impact that job hunting and work has on individual’s self-esteem. When asked what aspects of work make them feel down about themselves, respondents cited the following:

  • Not feeling skilled enough (42.5%)
  • Making a silly mistake (38.3%)
  • Being made redundant (30.9%)
  • Being turned down for a promotion (28.1%)
  • Not making it through probation (13.8%)

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “In a world where awareness around mental health and wellbeing is now more prevalent than ever, our latest findings shed some light on the true impact that work can have on employees’ self-esteem. As professionals, we always want to perform to the best of our abilities and there can often be incidents in the workplace that make us question our performance and goals.

“However, it’s important to remind your staff are only human and we cannot always predict what may happen throughout our careers. Providing constructive feedback after they’ve finished a task and having regular one-to-one catch-ups can go some way towards helping to build your employees’ confidence in the workplace.”

What’s more, the research found that 52.8% of professionals say that looking for a job has made them question their abilities. In fact, 38.3% say they felt this way when they were turned down for a job they really wanted and a further 32.6% when they’ve been ‘ignored’ by recruiters.

Biggins continues: “Finding a job can be stressful and it’s only normal for job hunters to feel a little downhearted after a series of knockbacks. However, recruiters and hiring professionals can help to ease this blow by providing constructive feedback and advice to those who aren’t successful. Whether there’s interview tips, or advice on how they can perfect their CV, try to help candidates to make a positive change.”

The research also reveals that 61.1% of workers believe that work shouldn’t define your life, with 20.4% also stating that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others.

Biggins concludes: “It’s easy for professionals to compare their career with those of their peers, especially when we see people posting positive updates about their work on social media. However, we are all on our own path to success and with a little determination, hard work and persistence, you’ll be able to your employees reach their goals in no time.”