We have all heard about the great resignation, we felt it coming but we didn’t imagine the scale that it would reach
What’s interesting is that it is followed by a dramatic life change mostly adopted by Gen Zers and Millennials (The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey). The re-opening of the post-pandemic world has allowed millions of people to reassess their relationship to their jobs. Most young people are deciding on a different direction to their former occupation and others are just giving up on companies and starting their own business from zero.
So what are they facing that’s pushing them to reconsider their previous decisions and steer towards a completely different path? And how will it impact the traditional companies with traditional work schemes? Understanding their reasons will give us an insight into what’s to come and how we can all adapt and ultimately improve for the welfare of both employers and employees.
The transformation in the way people work nowadays has allowed them to work from the comfort of their home, but it has also blurred the lines of work time and free time. As workers and companies struggle to adapt to this scheme, there’s been a clear lack of respect towards personal off-work time. People are finding it hard to keep that line in check and respect it. Leaving employees to fend for themselves and find whatever strategy to keep their off-work hours intact. But most young people are not willing to make the sacrifice other generations did. They prioritize their well-being among many other factors and are ready to quit and change to preserve that stability.
The seemingly endless lockdowns across the globe gave us the opportunity to reassess our life situation in multiple aspects, including the career path we were following. Many people realized they weren’t at all satisfied with what they were doing. Not only in their job, but their profession as well. When most of us lucky enough to have a job were completely immersed in it, questions began to arise, do I see myself doing this job when I’m 40? 50? Does it fill me with happiness every day? What are the things about this job that bring me down? Can I deal with them for the rest of my career? Some of us certainly couldn’t.
Once we realized we wouldn’t conform to our job situation, we began the search for a new path. It was like going back to senior year in High School and trying to make your mind up, scary but at the same time exciting.
Pursuing their dream
This reassessment is giving us the opportunity to bring underestimated dreams back to the surface. Since the world situation was looking pretty dim, more and more people stopped being afraid and dared to leave everything behind to chase their original dreams, transitioning their skills to their new career or starting anew. Now that the pandemic is not the greatest concern we have, we can easily opt to quit a job we are not happy with and give our dream job a second chance.
For others, the last couple of years have been transformational. People found solace in new hobbies, sports, art crafts or even gardening. They have developed new interests and discovered new passions which have ignited different life views and values. This switch in perspectives has encouraged many to follow a contrasting path, one where their passions and curiosity are the leading vessels. The desire to seek out a business or company in which they feel represented by its culture, values and mission increased exponentially after the pandemic (US Chamber of Commerce), turning it into another of the top aspects young people search for in a new job.
Degrees are not critical anymore
There is a higher need to fill the ever growing number of open positions which are not only more specialized but also in demand of properly skilled talent. This has forced employers to shift to a skills-based approach in hiring instead of a degree-based one, opening possibilities for everyone deciding to transfer their skills to another field or people coming from minority groups who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to compete for that type of job. Young people are recognizing this as their chance to move to other areas which seem more fulfilling and satisfactory.
Remote work fever
Once the possibility of being able to work efficiently regardless of one’s location became perfectly viable, young people began to not only wonder about remote work but demand the freedom to do so. They know we are living in a world that’s open to changes and some of those are coming faster than we expect them to, but they also know that it is up to us to make it work to our advantage. Restricting the location of employees doesn’t only limit their ability to travel the world and build meaningful connections with people from different cultures, upscaling their skill set, it also confines employers to a narrowed pool of applicants, making it difficult to find the talent they need.
Some companies have already seen the generational modification in values and life expectations and are quickly adapting their work culture in favor of a situation which lets both employers and employees grow harmoniously.
Younger generations have faced instability since they were kids and they know they will most probably continue to do so. They are used to quick and revolutionary changes which is why they are not afraid to take the first step into making some changes themselves.
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