Research from Universum reveals the motivations of university graduates as they enter the global workforce.
Understanding career goals “Work/Life Balance” … What does it mean for young professionals?
Many companies believe offering work-life balance means providing benefits for employees who have young children or who care for older parents—yet those benefits clearly do not appeal to Generation Z, which priorities work-life balance over all other career goals. For younger workers, “balance” means something quite different. Consider Gen Z is the first generation to grow up understanding that technology allows you to work wherever and whenever you would like. Why work a traditional 9 to 5 schedule in a “cubicle farm” when one can just as easily work remotely—even as a digital nomad. But is “balance” simply a matter of flexible scheduling? The research indicates otherwise. For Gen Z, seeking work-life balance is less about flexibility, and more about finding purpose and meaning in life and at work. Young people prioritize work-life balance as a critical career goal and it appears they are increasingly less likely to trade-off this long-term aim for short-term career gains. While flexible working is still not among the top student attraction drivers when choosing a first employer, it has been one of the fastest rising drivers in terms of relative importance over the last 5 years). The need for “flexible work” only ranks highly in countries where work is currently not very flexible—such as Japan and South Korea. Instead, Gen Z is looking for purpose and meaning—much more so than previous generations. 76% of Gen Z teens surveyed say they want to make a career out of their hobbies. And 60% say it’s important to make an impact on the world. Companies must carefully study the career goals and values of Generation Z to understand how work life will appeal to them, and what will be most challenging. What exactly does “balance” mean to young employees joining your organization, and how can an organization support balance in a way that doesn’t compromise work output and quality?
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