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February 15, 2009 / Amy Bradney-George

Job jumping traits of Gen Y may save them financially

Getting more than one job may not be the end of the world

Getting more than one job may not be the end of the world

Photo: tlkativ

The global financial crisis has sprung more uncertainty than anything else in the past decade, and it’s more widespread than any other situation in my lifetime.

People are worried about losing investments, losing money and losing their jobs, but what about the vast number of Gen Yers who don’t yet have a secure job to worry about?

I think if anything people are going to have to learn how to hold down more than one job at a time, particularly when it comes to industries like hospitality and retail, because less and less employers want to invest in full-time staff with financial situations just barely hanging in balance. Plus, these industries are the ones that often need workers, especially part-timers and casuals.

Although the recession worries me, I find this aspect of the situation riddled with irony.

As The National Business Review reports, it’s a commonly accepted fact that Gen Y often move from job-to-job to get what they want out of work. Job jumping (as I like to call it) has been skewed as a negative trait of this generation, but it could be an important factor in surviving tough economic times.

The diversity of skills that come from working in more than one industry, and the desire to work in different environments, might just make Gen Yers adaptable enough to deal with working harder to pay the bills.

This time last year the idea of having three or more jobs would have seemed insane to almost everyone. Even during the onset of the economic crisis there were people both older and younger who thought it ridiculus.

In October last year the editor of News.com.au, David Higgins, asked me to write an opinion piece in response to recruitment agency Talent2 accusing Generation Y of being “untrustworthy” in the workplace. Their stance revolved around research that showed a significant amount of young people access social networking websites like Facebook and Myspace while at work, and divulge information about their employment.

My response covered a variety of issues with the research which I won’t go into again here, but one of my statements was that I had four jobs and was a full time student. A response from one young person, “Emily” to that statement was that I must be stupid because of all the tax I’d have to deal with (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea).

Four jobs sounds extreme, I know, but they were a combination of seasonal work and contracted work that didn’t take up a lot of my time. They did, however, prepare me for working more than one job as a graduate. Now, more than ever before, I think people will have to start thinking about working more than one job at a time.

Sure, the tax might seem bad but maybe, just maybe, it will stop so much job jumping from Gen Y.

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One Comment

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  1. Denis Semchenko / Feb 15 2009 11:58 pm

    I’m also worried about the future – particularly showbiz future. There’s something I’ve got to do with my music!

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