Gen Y Workers: A Restless Workforce


We’ve all heard about how millennials have been raised by “helicopter parents”, who hover over them and protect them from criticism and disappointment. The result is a generation of young people who may appear outwardly perfect, but are easily shattered.

For years, youngsters have regularly been given pats on back, often just for showing up. They made it to the end of the soccer season – fantastic, everyone gets a trophy! They took a test – how amazing! When they finally join the workforce, it’s no wonder members of Generation Y expect a promotion just for being on time to work for six weeks straight. A new study has found that the young workers are restless and those with fewer than five years experience say they not only expect rapid promotions, but don’t plan to hang around long.

That’s according to LinkedIn’s latest “Life of a Professional” survey of more than 6000 students and young professionals.

With growing concern about a youth employment crisis in the country, the findings reveal surprising trends in how young workers view their place in the job market, and throws up stark contrast with their elder counterparts. While the results of the study indicate a declining emphasis on employer loyalty among younger workers, there is an increased expectation of receiving a promotion within the first year of employment.

More than one-fifth of students and early professionals say they expect a promotion within the first year of starting a position, compared to only 10 percent of workers with 15-plus years of experience. At the same time, the data reveals that new graduates are finding it tougher to enter the workforce, with only a quarter of jobseekers able to find work in the first month after graduation.

Despite the fact many are struggling to get their foot in the door, 23 percent of new professionals feel they should only stay at their current position for two years before moving on. In contrast, one-third of those with greater than 15 years’ experience think they should stay in their current role for at least 10 years before moving on. The ever increasing consumerism and a race to maintain a fancy lifestyle at a young age has severely affected the patience and loyalty of the younger workforce.

Didn’t get promotion, off to the next job. The trend is due to the “rotation experience” of many introductory job placements. Also, the ever growing technology has played a significant part in the desire for instant gratification, reinforcing a feeling of “now, now, now”. It is a simple case of a desire for recognition in the work environment felt by new workers.

To illustrate the gulf in attitudes between new and established workers, close to one-fifth of professionals with 15 years’ experience say they would not expect a promotion for 10 or more years after starting in a new position.

According to the LinkedIn study, while young workers are keen to progress up the professional ladder in swift fashion, they are equally keen to ensure it occurs in their chosen field. When asked about their dream industry, a majority were disinterested in pursuing careers in IT and telecommunications despite the high growth rates in these fields. The top three dream industries among those surveyed were healthcare, professional services and education. For students and young workers, the most important factors in a dream job were happiness (66 percent), money (39 percent) and getting along with co-workers (38 percent).

Employers also need to understand that and offer opportunities that fulfil the personal needs and aspirations of their employees. Times are changing.

Ratanpriya Sharma

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