Stability v. Passion For the Next Generation of Workers

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As Generation Z (those born after 1995) begins to enter into the workforce, studies are starting to show that there are substantial differences in our nation’s two up-and-coming workforce groups – Millennials and their younger counter parts, Gen Z.

Data from Adecco’s recent Way To Work survey shows that 70 percent of today’s youth are more interested in obtaining a stable job as opposed to one that they’re most passionate about.

While some Millennials (those born between 1980-1995) have been hard at work for about a decade now, their younger counterparts in Gen Z are just beginning to determine what they want from their professional careers.

Although Millennials prefer financial stability, the study shows that Gen Z hasn’t lost their visions of grandeur: 32 percent aspire to be in their dream job, as opposed to only 24 percent of Millennials. Subsequently, 34 percent of Millennials noted financial stability as their greatest aspiration, as opposed to 29 percent of Gen Z.

A possible, and likely assumption for this generational divide stems from a cultural and economic difference in upbringings. While Millennials were facing one of the (arguably) worst economic crises this country has ever seen, Gen Z was being brought into their decision making periods –schooling, professional aspirations– on the upswing from that low.

“A trend we’re seeing emerge is that students, particularly the older ones, who felt or witnessed the impact of the recession are more likely to prioritize career growth and stability in their job search,” Joyce Russell, president of Adecco Staffing, USA, said in a statement. “The data shows us that these students are willing to make mature decisions, like pursuing financial stability over passion and focusing on long-term goals as a way to ensure their future.”

As the first Internet native generation, Gen Z doesn’t know a life disconnected from immediate technology, and that in turn drives their desires to want everything, at any time and immediately. These characteristics lend themselves as fuel for Gen Zer’s hopeful, optimistic outlook on future employment.

As Gen Z continues to grow and Millennials remain the largest generation in history (+80 million), it’s important that employers remain aware of what makes the next workforce generation tick – after all, the survey hints that the vast majority of Gen Z and Millennials will continue their search for employment as a paltry 8 percent of participants selected Becoming a Business Owner as their most desired aspiration.

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