Junge Leute Landungsbrücken - © / Jörg Modrow

Young adults prioritising careers

Study by Hamburg-based mindline for Gruner+Jahr focuses on millennials' career choices

Young people in Germany are prioritising their professions and job security, a survey entitled Generation 2017 conducted by mindline research on behalf of Gruner+Jahr’s NEON magazine has found, a G+J press release said Monday. Almost three thirds of 18-35 year-olds (72 per cent) say a career and secure job (86 per cent) is important or very important. This compares to NEON’s 2014 survey in which job enjoyment was the top priority for interviewees. A total of 1,000 persons were interviewed for the latest survey.

Security more important than passion

Good salaries followed by a safe permanent position are the key criteria for the choice of job. Yet young adults also prioritise a pleasant atmosphere and a nice, collegial work environment. Enjoyment or personal fulfilment plays a lesser role. The majority of interviewees prioritise security over passion as reflected by 56 per cent who expressed reluctance to change a permanent position for a more exciting, but temporary job. Only every fourth would consider such an option. Ruth Fend, Editor-in-Chief of NEON, said: “Millennials are often portrayed as people who first and foremost seek sense in a job because they feel the whole world is open to them. Our results show a different picture.”

Optimism predominates

Young professionals had extremely ambivalent feelings about their present jobs. About half (49 per cent) find their work flexible and four out of ten feel their work is valued (39 per cent). At the same time, 37 per cent of 18-35 year-olds feel stressed and burdened (35 per cent) by their jobs. Young adults gave very general ideas of their future expectations and personal living environment. More than half (54 per cent) expressed optimism or were hopeful about the future. A good quarter (27 per cent) expressed fear and were pessimistic.

Anxiety about xenophobia and immigration

Mood swings were noticeable among interviewees in view of ongoing political tension and crises. A noticeable rise in interviewees expressed fear of war and crime. Some 69 per cent expressed fear of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies while 45 per cent feared becoming victims of a terrorist attack. Some 55 per cent believed war would break out in Germany again compared to only 34 per cent in 2014. Some 54 per cent are anxious about xenophobia and 50 per cent about immigration. In-depth interviews conducted by the Rheingold Institute on behalf of NEON determined a new earnestness among young Germans, Fend noted, adding: “They have a great need to get ahead in life because of their complex living environments.“

Critical attitude towards politics

Some 43 per cent said safeguarding peace and achieving social justice (30 per cent) were by far the two most important tasks. A clear majority (60 per cent) said politics in Germany are less well able or not at all able to cope with the present problems. In reference to the choice of chancellor, 35 per cent would like to see Martin Schulz emerge from this year’s general elections as chancellor compared to 33 per cent who favoured Angela Merkel and 32 who preferred neither candidate. This critical attitude was reflected by interviewees’ opinions on their own roles in a democracy. Less than half (43 per cent) believes that their vote can achieve anything in elections.

Sources and further information:

Hamburg’s labour market leads Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne

Hamburg’s labour market has a special draw, according to a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). Some 21 per cent of those interviewed rated Hamburg as the best work location ahead of Berlin (15 per cent), Frankfurt (12 per cent) and Cologne (10 per cent). Only Munich fared better at 26 per cent. Hamburg and Munich drew level in terms of life focus. Every fifth interviewee would opt to move to the Elbe city or Munich. Claus Brandt, Director of PwC in Hamburg, said: “That’s good news for companies in Hamburg and the region. An attractive big city environment is a great advantage in the search for professionals.”

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