ONLY half of Australia's 11.5 million employees believe they are in the right line of work, new research completed for a national career counselling business shows.
And just under half of the nation's workers admit they got into their present career by ''falling into it''.
SEEK Learning, a division of the job search group, helps people going back to retrain decide how and where to study. In November, the company commissioned researchers Pure Profile to interview 1257 Australian adults about their careers.
It found 51 per cent of people believed they were in the right career, while 22 per cent said they were not; the remaining 27 per cent were not sure.
When asked how they had ended up in their career, 41 per cent admitted they had fallen into it. Another 5 per cent said they had followed their parents' advice, while 5 per cent said they had chosen their career because it would earn them a lot of money.
In total, 627 males and 630 females were surveyed as part of the phone research, across all age groups from 18 to those aged over 65.
The research, done in late November, also found that just under a quarter of Australians are planning a career change in 2013.
SEEK Learning general manager Tony Barrett said that although it wasn't that surprising to find so many unhappy in their work, it was increasingly apparent people were more willing to do something about it than had once been the case.
''This really reflects that people are now willing to make changes and ask the question 'Am I happy in this job?' You spend a third to half your waking hours in your job, and that's a lot of time to spend doing something you're not that excited about.''
Money was the biggest motivator for Australians wanting to change jobs, with almost half citing bad pay as a reason for looking elsewhere. Other key reasons included wanting to do something that helps others, long hours in their job, and a bad relationship with their manager.