Class of 2022 Preparing for the World of Work in Flux

The white-collar workplace has changed a lot in the past two years. Remote work has gone from an odd privilege to a routine experience. Workers all the way until set of size have reassessed what they want from a job. And expectations about when and where work must be done have evolved.

As executives try to merge what remains of “before their time” with the job change caused by the pandemic, college graduates are preparing to enter the workforce for the first time. first. The new normal will be their first normal.

With almost every aspect of their college experience not yet improving, this year’s graduates are more used to living with uncertainty than most. About two million people who will earn a bachelor’s degree from a US college or university this year have pursued their academic and career ambitions amid campus closures, online classes and internships. from far away.

For better or for worse, they are entering a new work landscape with no memory of pre-pandemic life to guide or sway their choices.

DealBook spoke with 10 seniors who are graduating from universities across the US about how they envision their career trajectory – where they’ll work, how they’ll work, and what factors which may influence their choice. Their goals, interests, and prospects vary, but nearly all predict careers that are less linear and more dynamic than previous generations.

And they were ready for it. “I don’t care too much about change. It happens,” said Austin Rosas, 23, an economics major at Texas A&M University with a minor in math. “Adaptation is important.”

Salary and benefits are important. But for a growing number of young workers, company culture and values ​​are at least as important as individual compensation.

In a survey commissioned last year of software company Atlassian, 61% of millennial workers in the US – currently the largest generation in the workforce – said they prefer companies that take a stance on social issues, and 49% say that they’ll quit a job that doesn’t match their value both significantly up from the previous year.

Chief among them are diversity and inclusivity. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveys graduates every year about what they’re looking for in an employer. Andrea Koncz, the association’s research director, says the percentage of respondents who say corporate diversity is important or extremely important to them has increased every year since 2015, with 71.8% of students this year called it a top priority.

  • “In addition to values, the impact an organization has will make or break my decision to start and continue working in a particular place.”– Citlali Blanco, 22 years old, majoring in human biology at Stanford University

  • “I hope my future workplace is one that is collaborative, inclusive, and values ​​their employees. I want a workplace where I feel safe and comfortable to share my voice, as well as a place where I can continue and grow in the field where I want to be successful. ”– Rebecca Hart, 22 years old, majoring in public relations and strategic communication at American University

  • “My workplace will likely be in a hospital or medical office, where I hope to see further equality between men and women in leadership positions. I also hope that my workplace will be fully inclusive and represent a wide range of individuals, both among my colleagues and with the patients we serve every day. ”– Selena Zhang, 21 years old, majoring in computational biology at Brown University

The type of knowledge-based work known as “office work” no longer has to be done in an office. Over the next few years, the number of people in the US doing most or all of their work from a remote area is expected, said Johnny C. Taylor, CEO at the Society for Human Resource Management. will surpass 36 million people. pandemic amount.

Like every profession, company, and team, it’s often driven by employees who want to continue some of the benefits of remote scheduling in place at the start of the pandemic. Combined schedules, flexible schedules and the policy of working where you want will play a much larger role in this generation’s careers.

  • “While I really hope to work in an office, I want it to be a fun office, one where they expect me to be on time and get the job done but allow me the freedom to be creative. create in your work and work. space. I definitely want to work full time. I like to be almost too busy. ”– Sidney Stull, 21 years old, majoring in communications at Boise . State University

  • “As someone who works in tech, I’ve accepted most of my work will be done at my desk in front of a monitor. On the other hand, I’m happy to see all the valuable random ideas and fun moments I’ve long promised. On the other hand, I find creative work to be a rather vulnerable process, and I often appreciate being at home to explore whatever I’m thinking about. ”– Oliver Feuerhahn, 21 years old, majoring in business and social sciences at the University of Minerva

  • “As I will be starting out as an investment banking analyst, I expect that I will be in a full-time office by industry standards. While this work scene may not be popular with other members of my generation, honestly, I’d love to have the opportunity. ”– Costa Kosmidis, 22 years old, majoring in finance at Fordham University

With deferred payment after inflation, making a living is harder today than in previous generations. The percentage of US workers holding more than one job at a time has steadily increased over the past decade, according to census data. Less formal surveys have found that younger workers are more likely to take up side jobs or second jobs than older colleagues. Nearly half of respondents are millennials for a 2018 survey by financial services company Bankrate said it had worked on a second paid gig at least for a while. (Those surveys don’t count unpaid care.)

But a full-time job is just that. Some industries – especially finance – still bring in new employees according to the schedule leaving barely enough time to shower and sleep, let alone set the timer somewhere else.

  • “I feel like I can do consulting work on the side. These days, it’s increasingly difficult to maintain one’s desired lifestyle without multiple sources of income, so that’s always on my mind. “ Sidney Stull

  • “I don’t expect to hold more than one job at a time. I’d rather keep a single full-time job that I’ve invested so much in. “ Abby Mapes, 22 years old, majoring in computer science at Duke University

  • “I couldn’t imagine that I could stand it. I really care about my commute time and being able to spend time with the people I care about. Most importantly, I want a work environment that will give me flexible hours to spend with my family, whenever that happens. ” Wylie Greeson, 21 years old, environmental geoscience and English major at the University of Wooster

The rapid pace of technological change gives rise to new fields and industries as quickly as the destruction of old ones and industries. A company or industry that is thriving at the time of graduation may only be around 20 years later. Combine that with a longer lifespan and an even higher chance that a current graduate will experience multiple careers in a lifetime.

  • “I really hope to have many careers. In fact, I know I’ll be doing traditional work until 30. Hopefully I can translate my meaning of ‘work’ into something more project-based by 40. And in 50. age, start focusing on other interesting things in life. I think I will always want to contribute to interesting businesses for as long as I can, but also don’t feel the need to put too much stress in the process. ”– Oliver Feuerhahn

  • “Even deciding what I want to pursue after graduation is hard for me, so I don’t expect to work in the same field throughout my career. Being able to learn and grow by doing is what motivates me, and moving forward for me is adapting and taking on new challenges through creative thinking. ”– Amy Liu, 21 years old, majoring in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles

This generation probably won’t retire the way their grandparents or grandparents did, both by need and choice. Although many older workers have pushed into early retirement during the pandemiclife expectancy trends and a decline in high pensions will likely prolong working life.

This is not an arduous slogan. A report released by the Stanford Center for Longevity last year called for occupations to be paced differently, so that people work for more years, but with fewer working days in the week and fewer hours in the day.

  • “I truly believe that if I can still create the ultimate work to support my team and my career brings me happiness, then I will continue to work in the golden years after my retirement. retirement.”– Amy Liu

This year’s new hires have seen firsthand how quickly the world can change. No wonder most of them expect to see big changes in companies during their careers.

Some of these are already underway. As burnout and burnout have led to mass resignations of workers, many companies are accelerating efforts to incorporate employee happiness into organizational productivity. Tested around the world in a four-day work week proved to be both popular with employees and profitable for employers.

  • “I am pleased that employees are seen more holistically, with mental, social and physical needs affecting performance. It would be great to see a workplace that promotes community building, adequate nutrition, environmental sustainability, fitness and stress reduction. This will dramatically improve the lives of so many people. “– Citlali Blanco

  • “I hope a four-day workweek becomes the norm, and I hope that greater emphasis on mental, emotional, and social health begins to pervade the workforce.”– Wylie Greeson

  • “I see the workplace becoming a lot more collaborative as the years go by. I see the hierarchical division leading to a more team-based organizational structure. I think this will be beneficial, not only for the work that is being done, but for the people who do it.”– Sidney Stull

What do you think? Let us know: Class of 2022 Preparing for the World of Work in Flux

Fry Electronics Team

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