Gen Y Losing Confidence in Ability to Find a Great Job

This year’s college graduates are less confident than last year’s that they will be able to find the jobs they want, according to the College Graduate Career Confidence survey conducted by Right Management . Right Management recently conducted career management workshops in more than 40 cities throughout the U.S geared specifically to recent college graduates embarking on a new job search. At the conclusion of the workshops, attendees participated in a survey measuring their confidence in the current job market.

Key findings include:

  • Confidence levels: Of the 236 recent and soon-to-be college graduates surveyed, 72% indicated it will be “somewhat to very difficult” to find the ideal job – up from 59% in 2007. Only 26% of this year’s college graduates believe it will be “somewhat to very easy” to get the jobs they desire – down from 37% in 2007.
  • Duration in first job: Nearly two-thirds of college graduates (61%) expect to remain with their first employers for less than three years, consistent with the 2007 findings. 28% expect to stay 3-5 years and 11% more than 5 years.
  • Key motivators: Consistent with last year’s findings, the top three key motivators for college graduates when considering employment are (1) Opportunities to develop new skills; (2) Appreciation for work/life balance; (3) Establishing and maintaining a good rapport with their managers.
  • Balance more important than pay: Work/life balance is more important to 2008 college graduates than compensation when choosing a job. 38% of recent college graduates said work/life balance is very important, while just 21% rated compensation as very important.

“Employers that want to attract and retain new and emerging talent need to understand the key differences in what motivates each generation,” said George Herrmann, Executive Vice President, Americas. Millennials – those ages 31 and younger – look for roles that are challenging and provide opportunities to develop new skills. “This is a smart, skilled, savvy pool of talent. Provide context, give them a voice, and look for opportunities for them to play a part in the decision-making process, rather than just assigning roles and tasks,” Herrmann said.

“Millennials also seek an organizational culture that values a healthy work/life balance, offering flexibility and choices in how and when work gets done,” said Herrmann. “A culture that promotes constructive feedback, mentoring and regular acknowledgement of contributions will help employees feel valued and fosters loyalty, which is critical to retaining skilled talent,” Herrmann stated.

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