‘Youngsters prefer job content above company car’
Young job-applicants are no longer interested in extralegal advantages like a laptop or even a company car. That is the conclusion of the report ‘Expedition Work’ presented today during a workshop. The study is organized by the Flemish expert center for youth policy, De Ambrassade, and worker’s organization VDAB (Vlaamse Dienst voor ArbeidsBemiddeling).
The researchers wanted to know how youngsters see their future jobs and questioned 940 youngsters between 16 and 30. Half of them were looking for a job; the other half recently started to work.
One of the most striking conclusions is that extralegal advantages are not tempting anymore. When asked about which factors could win them over for a job, extralegal advantages end up in 12th place of 14.
Most popular – if they could choose – are meal tickets – most of them see them as additional salary – and training possibilities. Youngsters are aware that society today imposes lifelong learning. Hospitalization insurance is a popular additional valorization as well.
Some see it as an opportunity; others – usually those fed up with school – as a task, but most are willing to attend further training if it’s useful. A training should match one’s personal interests, be combinable with one’s private life, and be practically-oriented. Most of them want some guidance to make the right decisions in their career.
Most of those who work (78%) are happy with their jobs. They feel good and confident. Four out of five say they know perfectly well what they are good at, but only one in two indicates where he or she wants to be within five years.
The most convincing elements for signing a contract are job content, salary, and location. Youngsters want to have an interesting job that is well paid and easily accessible. Rational choices and there is a reason for it: they want to obtain a perfect balance between work and (private) life.
This does not mean they’re not willing to put great effort into their jobs. On the contrary. They’re flexible and even willing to work on weekends or in the evening. Half of all respondents, especially the highly educated, find it important to telework. Today, people work to live and not the other way around. The actual generation is considered ‘more sustainable’.
Despite their fear of not having an income, youngsters are quite picky in the choice of their jobs. Most respondents prefer a stable full-time career above one or more years of a career break. Those who possibly opt for a career break are mainly men, while women represent the largest group of those who work part-time.
And what about self-employment? Half of all interviewees see an independent activity as an option. The idea that it gives more autonomy is tempting. The reason not to opt for it usually is a matter of money.
What can we learn from this study? Here are some tips and tricks for employers. Work out a clear vision and policy for the well-being of (young) employees. Create meaningful jobs that keep youngsters motivated. Give them responsibility, autonomy, and a perspective for growth. Focus on mentoring, coaching, and personal guidance, ensuring that lifelong learning is a shared responsibility.
The study’s conclusions will be discussed in the Commission for Work of the Flemish Parliament on Thursday.