June, 2009
RECESSION HAS A DRAMATIC IMPACT ON GEN Y’S CAREER ASPIRATIONS AND BEHAVIOR IN THE WORKPLACE The 2009 Y Work Report® Shows The Generation Feels The Effects Of The Economic Downturn In 2009, roughly 1.6 million college degrees will be awarded and those recent graduates will find themselves fighting for jobs in a highly competitive work environment. In these economic times, it is crucial for employers to understand Generation Y (ages 31 and younger) and the best way to recruit, manage, and retain these new employees. Following are some highlights from the Y Work Report®: • “Leveraging your connections” is what Ys believe in 2009 will help them propel their career forward; whereas in 2008, they believed that “hard work” would simply do the trick. Ys increasingly use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook for self-promotion and networking in this tough job market. • While Ys have typically craved careers that offer ample vacation time and flexible hours, during this economic downturn, 67% of Ys believe that no job is recession-proof, and as a result, 50% are more dedicated than ever to work and building a career. • 44% of Ys have lowered their expectations for job satisfaction; while 40% state that the recession has made them altogether reconsider their career path. • Faced with one of the most competitive workplace environments ever, 33% are pursuing their passions, and even taking lower paying jobs now that larger salaries are harder to find. In fact, 63% of Gen Ys would rather earn $40K at their dream job than $150K at an unfulfilling job. The Intelligence Group, a leading market research and insights, trend analysis, and consulting firm, has recently published its Y Work Report®, designed to help employers better understand Ys in the workplace now and in the future. The Y Work Report® includes online surveys, focus groups, and in-person interviews drawn from two research periods (March 2008 and December 2008) and provides an overview of the Y worker, 10 significant work themes for Ys, the impact of the recession on Ys at work, the latest work trends, and companies that are doing it right. “Our insights in this report run deep. This report leverages all that we’ve come to learn about Gen Y throughout the past 10 years and how their unique generational characteristics play out in the workplace,” explains Jayne Charneski, Head of Insights for The Intelligence Group. “Due to this ongoing dialogue, we’ve been able to watch how the recession has changed attitudes and expectations around their work and careers.”