71% of Gen Z are stressed about their future career

Work is the leading cause of stress in the UK, with three quarters of people reporting some stress-related absence from work - and this is from people who already have a job. 

Imagine if you were just starting out, trying to enter the employment market in today’s economy. 

It’s no surprise that in our recent survey with Amberjack, 71% of students revealed that thinking about their future career is a source of stress, rising to 75% among neurodivergent students.


A generation under pressure

The stress of work for young people does not begin at the job hunt, before even starting to look through the job listings they have to decide how to finish their education. Faced with sizeable tuition costs and a sense of decreasing employment opportunities, many young people are left wondering if they should continue on to university, or go straight into the world of work. It is little surprise most are stressed.

The respondents to our survey, the majority of whom were aged 15-18, have experienced severe disruption to their education from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their world view has been shaped by a series of global crises. This generation feels the weight of the decisions they are about to make, and any organisation that can help reduce their stress would be well placed in their thinking.


The value of higher education

For higher education institutions, demonstrating the value they provide is perhaps more important than ever. This does not mean simply presenting a case that weighs the financial outlay for potential students against their enhanced future work prospects - though this is important as we know the cost of living is the biggest influencing factor on career research at the moment.

But additionally, institutions can spotlight the lifestyle future students can enjoy. Much can be made of the opportunity to make friends, develop complementary skills, and perhaps work while studying - all things that were difficult or impossible for them during the height of the pandemic.

Increasingly, students want to be sure that what they gain holistically from the effort and cost of going to university is worth it.


Build trust

That neurodiverse students find the process somewhat more stressful is perhaps not surprising. 

There is however excellent advice available to make both the recruitment process and working world more accessible for those with additional needs. Manageable steps include reducing the confrontational style of interviews and ensuring the environment is calm and welcoming.

These principles actually benefit all and easily translate to all of those about to make major life decisions, neurodivergent or not.  There is a challenge to get people to see beyond the job advert by reaching them at the right time and building a relationship of trust and mutual understanding.

This benefits both employers and potential employees alike.


You may feel the benefit too

If you are that person looking to engage with these young people, making things a bit more fun and relaxed might even help you with your work-related stress. 

We will be bringing more insight through our partnership with Amberjack soon, with the full report being published on the 21st February.

If you’d like to register to receive the report as soon as it’s published, follow this link to register: Gen Z Careers Report 2023 (springpod.com)


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