About 73% of Generation Z workers feel more optimistic about their career prospects now than at this time last year, as compared with 43% of millennials and 31% of Generation X workers, according to a Sept. 25 report from FlexJobs.
However, workers across all three generations reported similar workplace struggles and challenges, including excessive work and a lack of clarity around their job roles and expectations.
“At a time when multiple generations are actively participating in the workforce, we hope these findings offer valuable insight for companies and underscore the importance of providing flexible workplace policies that can create common ground among workers at every age,” Toni Frana, lead career expert at FlexJobs, said in a statement.
In a survey of 7,000 workers in these generations, 61% of millennials and 57% of Gen X workers said they plan to change jobs in the next 12 months, which is nearly double the 32% of Gen Z workers (32%) who said they plan to change jobs.
Some of their intentions could be linked to work stress. For millennial workers, the top stressors include excessive workload and unrealistic expectations from their bosses; Gen X workers reported similarly, though ambiguity around job roles and responsibilities was near the top of the list instead of unrealistic expectations.
Gen Z, on the other hand, was most concerned about expectations from their bosses and a lack of knowledge to complete tasks.
Such stressors may drive job seekers away from an open role and possibly even withdraw their application, according to a recent report by Robert Half. Workers across all three generations ranked unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities, a lack of salary transparency and poor communication with a hiring manager as top reasons to lose interest in a job.
To help, hiring managers can highlight expectations and understand worker preferences to prevent burnout. Some employees prefer a 9-to-5 job where work and life are separated, while others prefer a blended approach throughout the day. Preferences can vary by industry and job role — and influence how companies approach hybrid schedules, child care benefits and mental health challenges.