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Workers "close to burn out" in pursuit of pay rise and promotion

Qualifications not overtime matter most to employers, as UK urged to work smarter not harder.

Eight in 10 Britons are overworked, with almost a third "burnt out" or "very overworked", according to a new survey from The Open University. Employees believe that working longer hours is one of the best ways to earn a promotion or pay rise despite being considered important by just one in ten employers. With just 15% entirely happy with their career, The Open University, the UK's largest academic institution, is urging Britons to make 2015 the year of their career by exploring more effective methods of career progression.

In improving economic conditions, nearly two-thirds of us regularly work overtime, with nearly 10% working at least an extra 40 hours per month; a full working week. However, whilst a quarter of employers said they merited staff who met deadlines and targets, a greater number (46%) cited work-related qualifications gained through additional education, as a reason to offer a pay rise or promotion. Other things viewed favourably by employers were staff who went on training courses and who were eager to learn new job skills.

Helping Britain's workforce to progress and enhance their careers, The Open University is releasing a Guide to Fast-Tracking Your Career containing expert advice from its Careers Advisory Service to help people work smarter, without necessarily working harder. The guide will be an invaluable resource for those who want to take their career to the next level.

Despite further qualifications and training being so highly valued by employers, just 11% of workers recognise the value of doing so. In 2015, the range of options available means that part-time study has never been more flexible and accessible. For many, the skills and knowledge learnt can be put to use in the workplace almost immediately.

Keith Zimmerman, Director, Students at The Open University says:

"The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your career and make decisions to change it for the better. The survey shows that people in the UK work very hard but some overlook the more effective means of achieving career goals."

"For more than 40 years we’ve seen at the OU how part-time study can impact on careers, whether in terms of offering a boost, or even setting out on a new path entirely. We also hear from employers how our students are able to take the knowledge they have learned on their course and apply it directly in the workplace.

With higher-level skills more important to our national economy than ever, now is the perfect time to think about whether you’ve got the right ones.”

To download the free Guide to Fast-tracking Your Career, visit or for more information on how an Open University qualification could give your career the kick-start it needs call 0300 303 0068.

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