Survey Shows Financial Security Tops List of Gen Y Career Concerns

Survey Shows Financial Security Tops List of Gen
Y Career Concerns


MENLO PARK, CA — What career issues keep Generation Y professionals awake at
night? When asked to name their chief career concern, one-third (33
) of Gen Y workers polled cited compensation and benefits
issues. The second most common response was finding and keeping a job, provided
by 26 percent of those surveyed; career satisfaction ranked
third, named by 23 percent of respondents.

The survey, commissioned by Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs,
examines the professional priorities of the most senior members of Generation Y
or the “Millennials” — those who have already started a career or will soon
start one. More than 1,000 adults between the ages of 21 and 28 were polled for
the project. The findings are available in a report, What Millennial Workers
Want: How to Attract and Retain Gen Y

Generation Y workers were asked, “What is your number-one career
concern for the future?
” The responses, which were recorded verbatim,
fell into the following categories:

Salary and healthcare/retirement benefits 33%
Job stability 26%
Career satisfaction 23%
Other 8%
None 5%
Don’t know     5%

“The Gen Y professionals we surveyed were focused on practical concerns, such
as saving enough money for retirement and being able to balance work and family
obligations,” said Reesa Staten, senior vice president and director of workplace
research for Robert Half International. “These basic quality-of-life needs are
common among all demographics in the workplace.”

Following are some verbatim responses from survey respondents asked to
identify their top financial and benefits-related concerns:

  • “Having enough money to support the lifestyle I desire.”
  • “Getting paid enough to both save for retirement and enjoy the present.”
  • “Finding a better job or a career with benefits, a 401(k), better salary and
    financial stability.”
  • “How long I have to work into my golden years to secure a good retirement.”
  • “If I will ever be able to afford a future: a house, a wedding, children and
  • “Access to health and retirement benefits.”
  • “That I won’t make enough money to provide a good life for my family, with
    rising costs of everything from fuel to homes and food.”

The following responses were from Gen Y workers whose chief concern was
finding and keeping a job:

  • “That I won’t be able to get a job that matches up with my qualifications.”
  • “Being able to settle into the job right after graduation.”
  • “That the economy won’t be sustained in order for jobs to be secure.”
  • “Being able to find a job after being outsourced.”
  • “If there will be enough jobs for the number of job seekers.” 
  • “Having to switch jobs more than I desire.”

And, finally, survey respondents who focused on job satisfaction had the
following to say:

  • “My number-one career concern for the future is advancement. A time will
    come when I need to decide if I should stay at my current position, or if I
    should take a new, better job. My concern is knowing how to tell when that
    moment comes.”
  • “Finding something that I am truly passionate about.”
  • “Whether or not I’ll enjoy my work. Going to work when you hate it is so
    hard and tiring.”
  • “If I want to change careers, how much more will I have to put into going
    back to school? How much is it going to cost me to change my career, and will it
    be worth it?”
  • “Finding a niche career that suits me.”
  • “Being happy with my job, and balancing work and home life.”

Staten noted that survey respondents placed the most emphasis on money,
benefits and professional growth. “Gen Y workers want the best healthcare and
retirement benefits employers can provide as well as defined career paths. To
recruit these professionals, firms should make these programs easy to
understand, promote them in detail on the company website and highlight them
during the interview process,” she said.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted in the second
quarter of 2007 by an independent research firm. It includes a total of 1,007
online interviews of people 21 to 28 years old who are employed full or part
time, and have college degrees or are currently attending college. Among those
surveyed, 505 were males and 502 were females.

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