The Era Of The Career Chameleons As Women Work Up Towards Their Dream Job

07/03/23 The Era Of The Career Chameleons As Women Work Up Towards Their Dream Job

New research by London North Eastern Railway (LNER) for International Women’s Day 2023 (8 March 2023) has revealed a resurgence in the popularity of traditional roles with careers as a doctor, lawyer and train driver being considered trendy again.

The research found that Gen Z believe that they will work their way through an average of 4.5 roles before landing their dream career, but 33 per cent believe they will find their dream job before their 30th birthday.

When it comes to the jobs which Gen Z dream of, one in 100 said that driving trains would be their dream job, with a fifth admitting they would love a career on the railway. The dream of women working in rail is realised, with one in two (47 percent) Gen Z women would consider a role on the railway, but there is a gap between the appetite to pursue a career and the knowledge about some industries.

LNER is proud to celebrate women from a diverse range of career backgrounds who contribute to the colourful colleague tapestry of its workforce. From women who have danced on cruise ships and now lead innovative digital projects, to those seeking terra firma after careers in aviation, LNER encourages those from all backgrounds to apply for roles bringing their rich employment experiences with them.

Claire Ansley, Customer Experience and People Team Director at LNER, said “We are proud that 43 per cent of our workforce at LNER are women and they bring with them a wide range of diverse experience. Our latest research shows 74 per cent of the younger generation think jobs like doctors, lawyers and train drivers are “cool again”, so we want to encourage as many women as possible to consider rail as an exciting and rewarding career choice bursting with opportunities.”

The research also reveals ahead of International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) that young female Brits dream of being a social media influencer (10 per cent), teacher (nine percent), doctor (seven percent) and a therapist (seven percent).

Three quarters (74 per cent) agree that old fashioned jobs such as learning a trade, or becoming a train driver, doctor or lawyer are once again cool for young people, with Gen Z women (77 per cent) more likely to turn to traditional roles than men (72 per cent).

Young Brits look to social media (31 percent) for inspiration when it comes to dream jobs, followed by TV (29 percent) and school (20 percent). One in five (19 percent) say their parents inspired their dream job choice, while for a sixth (15 percent) it was friends.

Aside from money (37 per cent), one in three (29 percent) young women want a dream job that helps others and has a good work life balance (29 per cent), while a third (27 per cent) want to work for themselves. Doing something different (24 percent), freedom to work where ever (23 per cent) and good benefits (23 per cent) were also attractive to Gen Z women.

Almost half (45 per cent) say their dream job has changed as they have gotten older from jobs such as doctor (10 per cent), teacher (10 per cent) and vet (nine per cent). Young women are most likely to have a adopted a new ideal role (51 percent compared 39 per cent for men) shifting from teachers (15 per cent), vets (13 per cent) and fashion designers (five per cent).

One in five (20 percent) don’t think they will ever get their dream job with needing to earn money to pay rent/mortgage (29 percent), no experience in the required field (26 per cent), not confident enough to take the leap (23 percent) and the role not coming up very often (19 per cent) the main barriers stopping younger Brits.

Almost one quarter of Gen Z women (23 per cent) don’t believe they will ever land their dream job, compared to just 17 percent of men.

The nation’s Gen Z are planning to stay an average of five years in their current roles with one in four (25 per cent) planning to stay in the same industry.

One in three (30 percent) want to quit their job this year because they need more money (40 percent), a change (35 percent) and they are not satisfied with their job (34 percent). One in four (27 percent) want a new challenge, while a fifth (21 percent) are bored.

LNER has introduced initiatives such as a new work experience programme and apprenticeships, as well as Tomorrow’s Talent taster insight sessions – all aimed at giving younger generations a flavour of what an exciting career the rail industry can offer.



  1. Entrepreneur                          8%
  2. Video game developer            8%
  3. Social media influencer          7%
  4. Teacher                                   7%
  5. Celebrity                                  6%
  6. Musician                                  6%
  7. Doctor                                     6%
  8. Lawyer                                    6%
  9. Professional athlete                6%
  10. Engineer                                  5%
  11. Accountant                              5%
  12. Therapist                                 5%
  13. Model                                      4%
  14. Animal rescuer                        4%
  15. Artist                                       4%
  16. Author                                     4%
  17. Interior designer                     4%
  18. Fashion designer                     4%
  19. Detective                                 4%
  20. Pilot                                         4%
  21. Police officer                           4%
  22. Fashion stylist                         4%
  23. Baker                                       3%
  24. Vet                                           3%
  25. Chef                                         3%
  26. App designer                           3%
  27. Journalist                                 3%
  28. Astronaut                                2%
  29. Architect                                 2%      
  30. Mechanic                                2%      


A special International Women's Day episode of LNER's 'The Fast Track' podcast series can be found here:



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