Job satisfaction and flexibility top priorities for Generation Z

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A survey of UK 18-24-year olds has found that job satisfaction and flexibility are more of a motivation than money when it comes to career priorities.

Two young people working on laptops and tablets

New research by Dr Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation in the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, commissioned by smartphone manufacturer Huawei also revealed that Generation Z has a strong self-starter mentality and a desire to turn their hobbies or ‘side hustles’ into careers.

More than half of the 2,000 people surveyed said that they have a passion project on the side. Some 59% of those said they are hoping to turn this into their main income stream in the next year. 

Among this demographic, blogging and freelance writing lead the way when it comes to side hustles (33%), with 23% running themed social media accounts and 23% vlogging. Arts and crafts and food or drink projects, such as selling handmade items at a market, were also popular activities.

Flexible working was a huge priority, the survey found, with 85% of those surveyed saying that it was extremely important to them.

Huawei commissioned the survey to mark the recent launch of their new device, the Mate 20 Pro. Results show that young people are using technology to empower and create their futures, using digital tools such as YouTube and TED Talks to combine education and experience and help advance their careers.

For many young people, not being able to access the right technology (50%), adequate funding (62%) or training (57%) were still named as barriers to success – factors that Huawei have taken on board as they launch a new bursary scheme for young people.

Dr Brauer says -

“The New Working Order draws on a multi-faceted skillset to initiate action, using both technology and human networks in an agile way that helps them to create. They are innovators, producing ideas at speed and executing them seamlessly, are resilient and responsive to what doesn’t work, and iterative so that they can continue to create. The use of smartphones transforms the way this tribe works, allowing for a set of skills and mindsets that fuel the next generation of workers.”

Dr Brauer’s research included a survey of 2,004 nationally representative UK-based 18-24-year olds, and expert interviews with academics, industry professionals, and influencers that exemplify the New Working Order archetype.

Read more from Chris Brauer on City AM