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How has Gen-Z shifted the wider workplace culture?

A recent study by Resource Solutions showed that 73% of Gen Z workers would take a large pay cut or change careers to find a more fulfilling job. It’s no longer the case that you ‘work to live’ in many instances. Gen-Z want to feel fulfilled, and as a result are much more likely to change jobs frequently than previous generations, who often worked at the same company for many years, if not their whole working lives.

Not only can changing careers be beneficial for your happiness and mental health, but it can also lead to a quicker pay rise, rather than staying in the same role and hoping you will be rewarded year after year. Career stability might be tempting, but sometimes risks can pay off. There are ways of still pursuing the career you want and chasing opportunities without risking a current job. Particularly at large companies, where workers are easily replaceable, there is less of an incentive now more than ever to stay for long periods of time if your efforts are not being rewarded.

At many companies, employees are also now increasingly joining unions, with unionisation figures reportedly going up in countries such as the UK and the USA. Traditionally, these were for blue-collar jobs, but white-collar job workers are also now realising the benefits of joining a union if they are in jobs in which their rights are not being upheld, or in which employers are not as generous as they should be.

Another factor is the aging population and, specifically the rise in retirement age. It’s no longer realistic for most people to retire at age 50, so often workers will have many careers in that time because their working lives are longer. The average worker will now have 12 different jobs in their lifetime. So why limit yourself to one career?

Finishing school at 18, it’s not always realistic that students will know what they want to do as a career. Technology is moving so fast that the job they want to go into might not even exist yet. Also, as time has moved on, things like work-life balance and avoiding burnout have become more of a consideration for younger workers. Yes, a good salary is important to Gen-Z, but often finding a job that fulfils you and enables you to maintain good mental health is more important.

Could it be said that they are looking for the perfect job? That would be missing the point because that doesn’t actually exist. Indeed, the main difference from previous generations is that they’re willing to give their all to the right employer, rather than 50% of their all to the wrong one because they are stressed or burned out.

Edited by: Josh Reidelbach

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