It’s pretty clear for Millennials and Gen Z that breaking into the workforce is currently harder than ever. The idea of going to uni, scoring a sweet gig that’ll provide enough money to pay back your HECS debt and live a ‘Gramable lifestyle, while having savings, and buying a house just isn’t at all attainable. Unfortunately, being the most educated generation couldn’t save us, in fact, it arguably backfired. It has created a highly competitive generational group hungry for work during times of high unemployment rates. Bitter outsiders would say our troubles are because we are lazy, entitled, and ask for way too much – but let’s be real, it’s tough.
Based on a few recent studies around the impact of work, we asked a pool of young people what their biggest concerns were about work. To shed some light, we’ve delved into some of the biggest issues Millennials and Gen Z are experiencing in the workforce.
Old School Management / HR
Whether it’s in an office 9 to 5, or while looking for a job, dealing with management can be a bore. A recent study done with Millennials concluded that one in every four agreed that one of their biggest roadblocks towards a successful career is caused by “old school management”. This represents a management team that lacks modern assimilation processes to create positive, inclusive and encouraging work cultures for employees. The lack of such creates tense and confusing workspaces that lead to failed work relationships. What can you do to sidestep this archaic stereotype?
Try to focus on cultivating positive and modern company culture, one that fits your brand and empowers workers. And yes, free coffee and snacks should be considered, remember happy employees are the foundation of a successful company. Small gestures mean a tonne, and despite being a tech generation, human touches make a huge difference.
Stress & Pressure
As my therapist says, the first step towards healing is awareness. So maybe shinning some light onto the issues of young Aussies will help outsiders understand what our mistakenly labeled “lazy” generation is going through. In fact, 41% of Millennias and Gen Z we asked agreed that stress and pressure from life, family, school, friends, and work is one of the biggest issues they face. The “system” we were brought up on made us believe that a good job equates to value and happiness; it also failed to mention how competitive the workforce was going to become. So we became working bees, obsessed to be better, putting our self-care second, which has deeply affected our personal life and has created high burnout rates. This issue, however, has influenced us to become a highly aware and mental health positive generation, not afraid to vocalise their psychological needs or issues.
We’ve all worked at least one job before that had the most insane hours. Whether you’re expected to work 9-10 hour days with barely any breaks, or literally never stop working thanks to our ever-convenient mobiles, the lack of flexibility leaves almost no time for personal and self-development. Plus, it’s outdated! The truth is that demolishing this model wouldn’t be bad for business either. Flexible working arrangements increases employee’s productivity, creativity and helps to create a sustainable work culture. Most startups are adopting this method, including work from home options, flexibility with shifts and even napping rooms.
They are the proof the days of crazy-ass schedules are numbered.
Low Low Wages
We’ve been thrown into the piths of an economically affected workforce. One that has tightened the work pool and made financial security seemingly impossible to achieve. Our feedback revealed that 39% of youth find low salaries to be the number one problem in the workforce. Our salaries just don’t match the cost of living or the amount of work we’re putting in – no wonder AfterPay and the likes are so popular. It’s important to note that innovation and automated systems have taken some job prospects away from us and made skill-based jobs in high demand. That’s how we’ve become the generation that delivers food, cleans strangers houses and drives around the city as a side hustle outside of our 9-5 gig. That’s what happened to the most educated generation in history, and it has made low wages a key point of stress.