For young job seekers, stability is a top priority


In conversations with more than a dozen young job seekers, many said that years of uncertainty and upheaval had made them feel they should freeze or delay finding their dream job and focus on finding secure employment.

The share of job seekers of all ages who said safety was one of their top priorities rose to 37% in October from 31% in January, according to ZipRecruiter. A young woman said she only applied for jobs with listed pay scales so she could feel confident to make ends meet as prices soared. Another moved into sports entertainment marketing, worried about future opportunities in her field given the effects of the pandemic.

When Tiffany Dyba, a recruiter in New York, contacted young people about job offers, she said, they used to respond with a list of questions: Were there free lunches? What about happy hours on Fridays with kegs in the office? Gallup polls tend to show that older workers value an employer’s financial stability more than younger workers, who appreciate diversity and transparency.

“Now people are thinking, ‘Is this job remote? “And ‘I need to know the compensation right now,'” Ms Dyba said. “It’s not about the dream job anymore.”

It is disturbing for some young people to see employers long associated with free benefits and exorbitant wages making their biggest job cuts. Meta laid off more than 11,000 employees last month. Amazon has laid off about 10,000 people in business and technology roles. Twitter has laid off more than 3,000 people. Meta once offered laundry services to its employees. Twitter, until recently, lunched for free.

“It’s a reality check for most people,” said Rachael Noble, 27, who was laid off from her job at a tech start-up in August and is now seeking a new role from her home in San Diego. “It’s about recalibrating your mental model of how to approach job hunting. There may be growing pains.

The first job market someone enters matters. Those first 10 years of work typically shape a person’s earning potential, with most earnings growth occurring early, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.



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