63% of British Key Workers Feel They Don’t Deserve The Title Of ‘Hero’

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 13 Oct 2020 17:53
63% Of British Key Workers Feel They Don't Deserve The Title of 'Hero'63% Of British Key Workers Feel They Don't Deserve The Title of 'Hero'PA

Throughout the pandemic, people have started to appreciate and recognise the hard work of key workers more than ever.

For weeks, people took to their doorsteps at 8pm on a Thursday to applaud the NHS’s efforts in tackling COVID-19, but while we think highly of our key workers, it turns out they don’t think so highly of themselves.


Those who work in the NHS aren’t the only ones classed as key workers; the term also includes the likes of teachers, refuse collectors, cleaners, and supermarket staff. Basically, it’s all the people who work in the public sector and help us go about our daily lives.

PA Images

If you look up the word ‘hero’, you’ll be greeted with a definition that reads, ‘A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.’ From this, I’m sure many would agree with me that key workers do in fact fit the bill of being a hero.

Despite this, a recent survey contacted by Totaljobs found that 63% of recipients who are key workers don’t believe they deserve the title, or felt uncomfortable with it. A common response from them was that they were ‘just doing their job’.


Meanwhile, only 8% of the 500 key workers surveyed were happy to be called a ‘hero’.

Totaljobs researchers have dubbed this as part of something known as the ‘imposter phenomenon’, where people genuinely feel unworthy of their successes.

PA Images

The study explains, ‘You may think you’ll be ‘found out’ or exposed as a fraud – despite clear evidence that you’re very good at what you do.’


It added, ‘This is different from self-doubt, where you’re new to something and have no track record of success.’

While some are reluctant to accept the praise, one doctor working through the pandemic said it gave him the ‘motivation to carry on’.

Before the pandemic, Dr. Asif Munaf, a medical registrar working in the East Midlands, felt his work in the medical sector was underappreciated, but thinks that views on healthcare workers have now changed.


In particular, Asif found that the number of patients attending A&E with minor injuries had reduced massively ‘because they know how stretched we are’. He added that this ‘eased the pressure’ on NHS workers significantly.

Meanwhile, in recognition of how important the role of key workers is, one teenager decided to turn her part-time Housekeeping Assistant job at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, into a full-time position.

While Ellie MacDonald didn’t see her role as hugely important prior to the pandemic, she now understands what a vital role it is.


She explained to UNILAD, ‘The hospital would be dirty without us. We might not be trained in things like CPR and saving lives in that way, but we do save lives in other ways.’

In light of the ongoing health crisis, whether you’re a cleaner, doctor, teacher, supermarket staff, or so on – you deserve the title of ‘hero’.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, Life, Pandemic


Total Jobs
  1. Total Jobs

    Imposter Phenomenon in the age of Covid-19