Two fifths of driving instructors have noticed an improvement in their mental health since leaving their previous career, according to new research from Bill Plant’s Training Academy.
The research was part of a wider study into the steady growth in the number of Britons becoming driving instructors. Just under 1,200 driving instructors working as both franchise owners and independents across the UK were surveyed.
It found that the chance to become one’s own boss and not being made to feel inferior in the workplace resulted in a boost in mental health for driving instructors who’ve switched to the career later in life. Weight loss, improved personal relationships and happy clients also emerged as benefits to the job switch.
The most common benefits reported by driving instructors since making their career switch were found to be:
- Improved mental health – 41%
- A better work/life balance – 30%
- Grateful and happy clients – 28%
- Weight loss/improved diet – 27%
- A more rewarding social life – 24%
When asked what they felt had contributed to their improved mental health, ‘being my own boss and determining my own flexible working hours’ (37%) and a ‘reduction of workplace intimidation and bullying’ (23%) topped the list, followed by the relief of not having to deal with impossible targets and deadlines (21%).
Additionally, when asked how they’d managed to lose weight when the job requires them to sit down for a significant period of their working day, one in three (34%) found they had more time to visit the gym and exercise in between clients, while others found that their improved mental health encouraged them to eat a more nutritiously balanced diet (26%).
Peter Brabin, head of training at Bill Plant Driving School, said: “If you’re currently stuck in a job role that is making you unhappy and potentially having an impact on your long-term mental or physical health, then you really have to ask yourself one thing: what are you still doing there?
“We’re not saying that becoming a driving instructor is the answer for everyone, but at some point you have to make the conscious effort to put yourself, your mental health and your happiness first. We all do our best work when we’re happy with our job and love to do what we’re doing.”