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Surveys Find Younger Workers Prefer Stability to 'Dream Job' Now

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Dec 2, 2022


People about to enter the work force for the first time now prize stability as much salary, and more than any other element of a job, according to a recent survey, the New York Times reported.

Handshake, a networking platform for college students surveyed 1,432 recent graduates and current seniors in June about their thoughts on the economy, job market, and future of work. It found that that about 74 percent of the class of 2023 said that stability would make them more likely to apply for a job. An equal percentage said that a high starting salary would be the primary criterion. Only 41 percent cited a “known company brand” as an enticement. By contrast, only 33 percent of the previous year’s class said that a company brand would make them apply.

Overall, jobseeker confidence dropped in November, a survey by ZipRecruiter reported. It also reported that jobseekers have become less upbeat and reported greater financial strain.

As a sign of that anxiety, more than one-third of the class of 2023 were open to industries they hadn’t previously considered, the Handshake survey found, and one fifth were starting their searches earlier.

Recent layoffs in the tech sector have also affected people’s attitudes.

"Tech layoffs are having an outsize effect on job seeker sentiment because the tech sector is tied to our economic aspirations,” said ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Julia Pollak. “Although only about four percent of job seekers are employed in tech, 20 percent hope to be.”

The pandemic has also had an effect. A survey of 20,000 workers by Bain & Company found that 58 percent felt that the pandemic has forced them to rethink the balance of work and life.

Applicants and recruiters interviewed by the Times recognize the new reality. This is reflected by the experiences encountered by recruiter Tiffany Dyba, who used to encounter candidates asking about perquisites such as free lunches and Friday in-office happy hour keggers.

“Now people are like, ‘Is this job remote?’ and ‘I need to know the compensation right now,’” she told the Times. “It’s not about the dream job anymore.”