20s go-getters, 30s and 40s in lower gear By Goh Chin Lian And Andrea Ong - The STAR
Comfort zone: Some employers worry that the new generation of workers is turning soft and complacent, a product of the succession of good years and near-full employment Singapore has enjoyed.
A Straits Times jobs survey smashes the stereotype of young workers in their 20s as taking it easy and lacking ambition. It finds those in their 30s most prize work-life balance, and the 40-somethings in a comfort zone.
SINGAPORE’S young workers have been called the strawberry generation: easily bruised by work and life.
On the other hand, the older 30- to 40-somethings like to think of themselves as tough nuts who are hardworking and know what it is like to struggle for a job.
But a new survey commissioned by The Straits Times on job perceptions throws these assumptions out the window. The young are more rooted in reality and have more grit than the general perception would suggest.
The survey findings showed that – surprise, surprise – pay and benefits matter most to the 20-somethings in a good job, only then followed by the much-touted work-life balance.
They are also the most likely to value career advancement than other age groups.
In the same vein, eight in 10 will work overseas compared with six in 10 for other age groups – the desire for personal growth is the strongest motivator.
As for those older workers – who often gripe about young workers’ lack of commitment and tendency to job-hop – they are the most satisfied with their lot, with around seven in 10 saying they have a good job. Combined with their reluctance to work overseas, a question arises as to whether they are comfortable to the point of being complacent.
The survey of 501 Singaporean residents aged 16 to 62 covered what they value in a job and how they perceive the next generation’s prospects, among other things.
Their responses in phone interviews by Degree Census Consultancy, from June 20 to July 2, provide snapshots of the Singapore worker’s priorities and concerns as society wrestles with the tensions of easing the stressful pace of life and staying ahead amid global competition.