Salary, working conditions… find out if young workers are satisfied with their work

“Far from preconceived ideas, young professionals are involved in work and motivated by their professional development.” This observation was compiled by the Association for Executive Employment (Apec) and think tank Terra Nova, u study published on February 1. The inventory is complemented by the second edition of the Job Happiness Barometer as seen by young people*, produced by the ISC Paris School of Business and Management with the BVA Xsight institute, and presented exclusively by Capital this Thursday, February 29.

According to the results of their survey, young workers experience their entry into the world of work very well. In fact, no fewer than 80% of young people aged 18-24 who are currently working say they are satisfied with their jobs (53% “fairly” satisfied and 27% “completely” satisfied). “It is very significant,” Jean-Christophe Hauguel, general manager of ISC Paris, points out for Capital.

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Young experts welcome the autonomy given to them and the atmosphere at work

Several factors can explain this high job satisfaction of young workers. In particular, 86% value the autonomy given to them within their missions, and 83% assess that they work in a good working atmosphere. More than three quarters (76%) of young workers also emphasize the good balance they have found between their professional and personal lives. A welcome result, when we know that free time for personal life is their first expectation when defining their dream job (45%, compared to 37% during the first edition of the barometer).

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Other elements contribute to their job satisfaction: 83% of young workers surveyed say they feel well integrated in their company, and 80% believe their current job means something to them. However, “what strikes me is that despite this overall satisfaction, young workers want to move after their first experience. This is also one of the most pronounced trends when we compare the results with those of our previous edition (published at the end of 2022, editor's note): 53% say they want to change jobs or companies from now on, compared to 44% “only” a year earlier ”, observes Jean-Christophe Hauguel. A paradox that proves that retaining young talent is a real challenge for companies.

Low satisfaction among young workers with the level of salary

Apart from the fact that young people are more likely to look for something new in their working life than previous generations, this strong desire to change jobs or employers can also be explained by the desire for a better salary. While for them it is always the main criterion taken into account when choosing a company that allows them access to their “dream job” (much before the atmosphere at work or the allocated time off, according to the ISC Paris survey), compensation is also a source of dissatisfaction. Thus, 41% of young workers believe that their salary is too low. However, they still have difficulty negotiating the amount of compensation during employment: only a quarter of those surveyed (26 percent to be exact) have initiated such an initiative.

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Above all, young professionals have a strong desire for independence. Indeed, starting a business is the “Holy Grail” for 29% of them today (compared to 24% during the first survey), far ahead of working abroad or in a large French company (12% of young workers consider accessing their dream job). “This means that there is a kind of succession in the French entrepreneurial spirit,” welcomes the director general of ISC Paris. Although we know that there is always a gap between those who say they want to do it and those who actually create their business.”

* For this second edition of the barometer on happiness at work as seen by young people, 1,110 young people aged 18 to 24 were surveyed from 2 to 16 October 2023 about their attitude towards the world of work, including 532 young workers.

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