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Financial success is the top priority for Gen Z when choosing jobs: survey

A waitress works at a restaurant in Chicago, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) A waitress works at a restaurant in Chicago, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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Financial success is the top priority for Gen Z when it comes to choosing jobs, according to a new survey by jobs website Indeed. 

When respondents in the U.S. were asked to rank the top three factors they consider when thinking about their careers, they ranked financial success as their top priority, above a positive work environment, stability or making a difference in the world.

According to the survey, student loan debt is a likely reason for the focus on financial priorities, as college tuition is at an all-time high in the U.S. and older Gen Zers are in debt, with an average of US$20,900 in education loans.

Half of 2,000 survey participants aged 16 to 26 said they face “systemic barriers” -- such as education level, disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation -- when it comes to employment procedures.

“Gen Z is entering the workforce at a time of enormous change,” Misty Gaither, Indeed’s Vice President of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, said in a post on the website. “They've observed how the pandemic has shifted everyone's views on work, and they have a different outlook on the meaning of work.”

The survey found that Gen Z job seekers also expect employers to be transparent about pay, and they see flexible schedules as a big draw.

According to the survey, 54 per cent of the Gen Z population and 60 per cent of those who face barriers to the job market said they won’t accept a role that doesn’t offer flexible scheduling. When it comes to a job with a lower salary but a flexible schedule, 57 per cent of Gen Z said they would accept it.

The survey also found that 46 per cent of the general Gen Z population believe that employers should be required to offer unlimited paid time off to all employees and more than half (51 per cent) of those who face barriers think the same way.

The survey found that Gen Z job seekers expect clarity from employers. More than half of them said they’ve been “ghosted” by a hiring manager while 40 per cent stated they were frustrated when they did not receive feedback from employers when they don’t get hired.

In general, job seekers of all types have similar expectations, however there are some differences when it comes to how people search for jobs. For example, people with disabilities were more likely than other groups to look for jobs by asking family and friends and they faced more job-searching challenges than other groups.

 

Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.

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