December 2023
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TD Magazine

Bouncing Around

Friday, December 1, 2023

Gen Z workers don't wait for better prospects if they're unhappy.

Last year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wage and salary workers spend 4.1 years on average with their companies. However, that statistic could change drastically due to a 2023 ResumeLab study on Gen Z workers (individuals born between 1997 and 2012).


In all, 83 percent of the 1,100 respondents consider themselves job hoppers: The majority (43 percent) planned on staying with their employers for two years; 22 percent said they would remain for three years; and 19 percent answered that they didn't plan to stay for more than a year.

ResumeLab's study also shows that semifrequent career changes aren't necessarily about money, either. Respondents' top three motivations at work are personal development (35 percent), ambition and desire to prove themselves (28 percent), and family responsibilities (28 percent). Next in the rankings, respectively, were money, the desire to make a difference, having a sense of purpose, and passion.

Despite a competitive salary not making the top three motivations, 70 percent of respondents classified it as important or very important to the decision to stay with their employers. Other reasons why Gen Z employees decided to take a new opportunity include working too much overtime, a clash of values, and feeling unhappy at their jobs.


Gen Z workers aren't alone in the trend. In 2022, Zippia reported that millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1996) stay at their jobs for 2.75 years on average. That's less than one-third of the average tenure of baby boomers (9.9 years).

Less traditional roles may be the wave of the future. ResumeLabs reports that 74 percent of Gen Z workers would consider a career as a freelancer if they couldn't find a traditional full-time job. That corresponds with the top response for must-haves in their jobs: having a flexible schedule.

About the Author

Bobby Lewis is a writer for ATD; [email protected].

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