A new mindset
Attrition rates of 15% to 20% are well-known to exist within the Big Four. But a 2017 study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters noted that graduate retention has been steadily declining across the board. Employers are losing 16% of their graduates within two years, with 46% of new employees quitting after five years. The reasons ranged from better pay and progression to wanting a complete career change. Traditional career advice is also believed to have led to one in three graduates being “mismatched” to their first post-university job, according to 2018 Universities UK research findings.
Clearly, there’s a gap between expectation and reality; a distinction between what conventional industries say they’re offering and what graduates like you feel they’ve received. This is coupled with changes in the mindsets of your student cohort, Generation Z. Rather than hefty pay packets and longevity, Gen Z are yearning for a sense of purpose. When choosing a company to work for, they want somewhere where they can collaborate with others to make an impact.
The statistics prove it. According to a Dell Technologies survey of more than 12,000 young people, 45% longed for work with a deeper meaning and 38% wanted to work for a socially or environmentally responsible organisation. It’s no surprise, then, that your generation is also much more interested in joining smaller companies or start-ups than being nothing but a number in a big organisation. Or that the vast majority (80%) hope to work with cutting-edge technologies. In other words, you want to take the driver’s seat on the road to the future, not just sit and enjoy the ride.
Taking all of the above into account, it’s evident that a movement is brewing. You and your fellow high-achieving graduates don’t need to be given an ultimatum: choose a traditional career and give up your dreams of making tangible change, or opt for a more fulfilling path and endure less pay and prestige. Instead, you need, and are demanding, choice.