Thought leadership

Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision

“This survey shows that employers need to adopt a creative and flexible approach in future in order to come up with new ways of motivating the millennial generation. The need to respond to their strong demands for challenging work, progression, variety, recognition and security brings together various elements in a way that means the employer-employee relationship has to be redefined. Nevertheless, I have confidence in the ability of businesses to show Millennials the benefits they can gain from committing to their employers for the long term.”

“Millennial generation” and “Generation Y” are synonyms.
*The rank is the country’s position relative to the 18 other countries involved in the survey, with first place being given to the country with the highest result and 18th place to the country with the lowest. 

In Switzerland, 53% of the people surveyed expect to remain professionally active beyond the age of 65 and 8% do not think they will ever retire.

In Switzerland, 87% of Millennials report working more than 40 hours a week, with 22% saying they work over 50 hours. Moreover, 84% of them foresee taking significant breaks in their careers.

69% of Swiss Generation Y members are willing to spend their own time and money on further training and 77% consider it important to continue developing their skills throughout their career.

The survey reveals that 93% of Swiss Millennials show a moderate to high ability to learn. As far as employers are concerned, being aware of this learning capacity provides an opportunity to motivate Generation Y employees and keep them at their company. The survey highlights a positive correlation between career success and a person’s ability to learn.

However, they are open to non-traditional forms of employment and 42% of them envisage working on a freelance basis, doing gig work or taking up a portfolio career – i.e. working multiple jobs – in the near future, despite the risks associated with these forms of employment.

Detailed results

A confident and determined generation willing to work hard and long

Switzerland is among the countries surveyed where members of Generation Y show the most optimistic attitude towards their career, with 77% (*rank 3) saying they are confident of their chances of finding a job quickly. With regard to retirement age, 53% think that they will continue working beyond the age of 65 (rank 12), 16% envisage carrying on to the age of 70 or later (rank 16) and 8% expect to work until the end of their lives (rank 17). Millennials in Switzerland work very hard, with 87% clocking up at least 40 hours per week (rank 2) and 22% working 50 hours or more (rank 8). Young Swiss people rank just below Indian Millennials, who claim to work more than 52 hours a week. While the majority of Generation Y know that they will be professionally active for longer than their parents, 92% foresee taking career breaks longer than four weeks, mostly for personal reasons (rank 1).

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Generation Y’s priorities when it comes to looking for a job

When they are looking for a job, Swiss Millennials have three priorities in mind: remuneration in reward for their efforts (89%), the freedom to take long breaks and time off (87%) and job security (85%). Members of this generation are planning for the long-haul and appreciate the need to develop their skills in order to maximise their employability. 69% of the young Swiss workers surveyed are willing to spend some of their own time and money on further training, while 80% say the opportunity to learn new skills is a key factor when considering a new job (rank 8 out of 18 countries).

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What makes Millennials choose to stay with their employer?

In Switzerland, 67% of the Millennials surveyed intend to stay with their current employer for the next few years (rank 7), but 54% consider less than two years to be the “right” amount of time to stay in a role before being promoted or moving to another job (rank 17) and 19% suggest that less than 12 months is appropriate (rank 17). Aside from an appetite for new challenges and opportunities for advancement, Millennials in Switzerland cite other interesting reasons why they would stay in the same job: a better work-life balance, work that is in line with their purpose in life and recognition for their efforts from their managers and colleagues.

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Generation Y’s current forms of employment and the options they see themselves taking

“Uberisation” is one of the new forms of employment we are hearing a lot about. However, those who engage in this new type of work, which involves online platforms connecting people requesting services to independent professionals, are still very much in the minority, with only 2% of Millennials in Switzerland working “on demand” and just 4% envisaging adopting this mode of employment in the future. A full-time job is still the employment model of choice for more than 3/4 of the millennial generation. In the future, 73% of Millennials see themselves in a full-time role and 46% in part-time employment. Going self-employed appeals to 42%, while 23% would like to work on a freelance basis and 15% envisage combining several jobs.

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