Employers should invest in training to prompt staff development, after research showed most employees have given up hope of securing their dream job.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) polled 2,500 people and found that 57% felt they had either left it too late or lacked the confidence to further their careers.
The average age at which employees threw the towel in was just 30, with 34% fed up with work-related stress, 31% exhausted and 13% feeling unchallenged.
More than three in four (77%) wanted employers to provide more relevant training or development opportunities, while 46% wanted to gain qualifications on the job.
Over a quarter (27%) had not taken any courses or earned any qualifications since leaving secondary school or graduating from university.
Despite that, 40% of employers conceded that staff would perform much better in their jobs if they had the right motivation and training.
Rob Alder, business development manager for the AAT, said:
"Increasing numbers of employers and individuals recognise the benefits of keeping your skills up to date - not least because the digital disruption means roles are changing, representing both opportunities and threats.
"It's especially telling that companies admit they could do more to engage their employees, with the average manager feeling that 31% of their workforce has lost all motivation in the workplace.
"One way to address this is through investment in effective training and qualifications which can help boost staff morale, productivity and effectiveness."
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