Generation Y will Change Careers 5 times

Whether or not the above statement is accurate is not the point. The statistics in First world countries show that Generation Y will change jobs every 2.6 years. The evidence is mounting that this will include career changes along the way with changing jobs.

Generation Y is defined as those born between 1977 and 1997. Thus students presently finishing up at university and entering university in South Africa should take note. South Africa follows First World country trends by 10 – 15 years, and so this statement will straddle Generation Y and Z here in SA.

Maths doesn’t lie, and these statistics indicate that this generation will be changing jobs 25 times in their career!

This leads to unexpected problems, of which the first is lack of information to the Generations Y and Z themselves. How many of them know of these statistics and are they prepared for to cope with such changing landscapes? They will need to be more multi-functional and adaptable than ever before, and yet still be SPECIALISTS in their field of expertise.

Are the higher education facilities preparing these students to be multi skilled with transferable talents? Higher education facilities are not exactly known for being fast changing and adaptable!

By 2020 , 40% – 50% of the workforce will be on short term contracts and thus in essence freelancers. This calls for different skills: organizational and having an entrepreneurial spirit. We will constantly have to re-sell ourselves, our skills and our unique niche.

Business, too, will have to change their mindset. So called ‘job hopping’ is no longer a warning sign of instability, but rather a sign of adaptability and change, even an indication of forward-thinking. Antiquated recruitment skills will lose out on top quality talent.

This is the first generation to have fast-food, computers and internet. They are not prepared to sit in a job if they do not feel they are being justly rewarded, and will move on quickly. Technology skills allow for quicker communications, and an all-round expectation of a fast paced business world.