I read this stat the other day that 4 in 5 gen zers wanna switch jobs this year. You may be thinking that us lot must be barking mad! With a looming recession and layoffs happening left right and centre (read all about that here and what that means for you) you may be thinking that it’s best to simply stay put. To stick it out and keep your steady paychecks rather than jump into the jobs’ jungle risking it all.
But this is not how my gen seems to be seeing things. As much as 80% of us aged 18-24 have our eyes set on a new job in 2023 with pay being our #1 driver. Yeah, okay fair enough! House prices, especially in capitals like London and NYC, are massively out of reach. The only way you can realistically afford one is to a) have help from Mum & Dad, b) inherit from grandparents (sorry, but it’s true) or c) have some killer job that pays you bonkers amounts of dosh. Or a combo of all 3!
Pay is usually our biggest motivator in choosing a (new) job but coming from someone who’s just started out in their first job after graduating, a job is more than its paycheck. Whoa – before you bite my head off please hear me out! I’ve got a pretty good salary, I’m earning a decent amount, but I know asset managers from the likes of BlackRock and Goldman for ex who will pay almost double my salary for the same entry-level (associate) role. But guess what? Work over there is not 9-5. They expect you to work crazy hours to compensate for that crazy paycheck! And the culture doesn’t fit me.
Big salary, big hours!
My co-grad told me his friend works for one of those big American corps and he said he’s on a base salary (pre-bonus!) of £80K. But guess what? He’s still responding to emails at 10pm. If that doesn’t make you feel burnt out just by thinking about it then I dunno what will!
What I find most interesting of all is that most my gen wants to move jobs despite cuts being announced in areas like tech and banking. This looming recession doesn’t seem to phase them, at all. The labour market is still tight and workers are still in demand more than is going around so if the time to move right before things turn sour that time is now! But just incase it isn’t, read here how to bullet-proof your finances to survive a layoff. May it never come!
Most of us started our first job during the pandemic aka the biggest change to work in an entire generation! This means we’re used to how quickly things can change. We’ve got resilience. Bags of it. And we’re not afraid of change. In fact we’re ready to face it head-on.
We work most our lives! Which means it should most definitely be something worth doing. Your job should feel like more than a monthly paycheck. You want to feel like you’re contributing. Like you’re actually learning and making a difference. For many, workers want to feel like they’re fulfilled – which often comes about from doing work that has a positive impact. If you’re not doing any of those things, it’s hard to see how you can stay motivated.
As part of my grad scheme in asset management I rotate across 8 teams. Now I’m rotating in the responsible investing team. We manage £30bn of AuM and the team (right up until a few months ago) was run by 3 superpeople! They practically came up with the entire net zero methodology that we use. Awesome. Anyway, it’s easy to see how you feel like you’re making a difference here. But not every team or job for that matter will get to have that kind of direct impact. You have to dig deep and find your “why”. Get your motivation back!
Why pay won’t always pay for itself
If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your role, perhaps pay isn’t always your answer. More than half of US workers call themselves “quiet quitters” . They’ve quit inside. They no longer go “the extra mile”. They do the barest minimum for their jobs and that’s it. To say they’re unmotivated is an understatement.
But feeling like this will ruin your mental health. It’ll eat you up inside. It’s a nasty thing to have to feel. So if you’re feeling like that and are after a new job that offers you better pay, ask yourself whether it’ll give you a sense of motivation, fulfilment and enjoyment. Usually the 1st one leads to the second 2 but you gotta have at least one! You might enjoy what you do but not have a deep sense of fulfilment or purpose and that’s fine. Nothing wrong with that.
But if you are feeling a lack of ambition, purpose or whatever and are starting to feel stale, you don’t want to be lingering around in a job you hate because it’ll show. And people will remember how you left, trust me.
My dad’s coworker has been feeling unfulfilled in her role. She’s not been giving it her all, she’s been showing up late to meetings and frankly, he said her work has been crap lately. He told her she’s got his support to apply elsewhere.
Sometimes, when we’re not performing at our best, it’s often a sign of something much deeper. Though things like having a hobby, building a side hustle and volunteering can all give us that feel-good factor, helping us scratch the itch that so desperately needs treating to!
So, wherever you are in your career journey, don’t be afraid to seek out meaning. It’ll come to you in the most unexpected of ways.
But only if you go looking for it.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment