Generation Y’s not interested in portfolio careers??

by Barrie Hopson on December 12, 2008 · 2 comments

in Uncategorized


A new report from pricewaterhouseCooper claims that Generation Y’s are not so different from the rest of us. Apparently, they are happy to embrace traditional ways of working and expect to be employed by between only two and five companies in their lifetimes.

They do demand high quality training, however, and want to work with strong coaches and mentors to help develop their careers and want more flexibility. The report dismisses the popular belief that Generation Y is happy to skip from job to job in search of the highest benefits, with no thoughts of loyalty to employers that provided the first break. Well, we can quote other work and have done so, in the UK alone that suggests otherwise. This is only a graduate survey and covers 44 countries. The research that we base our views on relates primarily to the English speaking world and focuses on all age groups.

Another theory apparently turned on its head is the idea of working for multiple employers over a career lifetime. The concept of portfolio careers is not seen as a reality, with the vast majority of respondents believing they will have between two and five employers. Again, we would argue that when starting off on professional careers they may well think this. After a few years and a few life changes we would predict quite a different attitude to workstyles. The report’s definition of a portfolio career is somewhat strange. We don’t think that they differentiate sufficiently between what we call single track careers, serial careers, lifestyle careers and portfolio careers. This is at the heart of our new book, which, by the way should now be published next autumn. We will post again with more thoughts on these 4 major workstyles.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jo December 12, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Will need to follow this up!

I agree the logic seems peculiar. It is one thing to say I offer X and Gen Y turns it down because of . .

It is another to say I offer X and Gen Y loves it . . .

The old logic of all swans are white until we see see a black swan?

2 Barrie Hopson December 13, 2008 at 2:05 am

You are a very perceptive commentator on bird life!
We really do have far more evidence from the UK alone that Y’s are looking for something different – namely flexible working, work consistent with their values and continuing professional development. And as for their definition of a portfolio career…

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