Sponsored The ideal job (according to young Australians)

The ideal job (according to young Australians)

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The job market for young Australians is a hot topic.

Award rates, work ethic, job shortages and penalty rates are hotly debated in the media, but what’s often missing is a youth perspective.

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To fill that void, online jobs board SpotJobs commissioned a report that collected data from its job seekers, revealing the employment preferences of Generations Y and Z (18–35 year olds).

So, what’s news? The profile of a young Australian’s ideal job might surprise you.

Young Australians actually care less about penalty rates than the average population.
Young Aussies actually care less about penalty rates than the average population.


“In short, what 18-35 year olds really want is a position with flexibility both in terms of hours and their own professional growth profile,” says SpotJobs CEO Glenn Smith.

“Organisations have to work out how to allow employees free time, time to grow another core skill and the opportunity to display their entrepreneurial flair.”

According to Mr Smith, times have changed since employees were dedicated to just one company.

“Back in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, you would see yourself as fulfilling the mission of an organisation, but now it’s flipped.

“Companies need to help young employees to fulfil their life mission.”

Penalty rates

Younger generations care less about penalty rates than you might think.

When prompted, over 52 per cent of Gen Y respondents said they were unsure about whether penalty rates should be abolished.

While 59 per cent of all age groups wanted to keep penalty rates, that number was less for both Gen Y and Gen Z.

Demands are small

It seems that young Australians are the least demanding demographic in the workforce.

Just 41 per cent of Gen Z respondents said they cared about further opportunities for education, while less than a third cared about flexible working conditions.

In fact, young people were more likely to care about an office’s environmental policy and social conscience than their own work tasks, holiday options and career advancement.

Inside is best

Gen Y and Z see themselves working inside in the future.
Gen Y and Z see themselves working inside in the future.

Young Australians are happiest indoors, in customer-facing roles, but want variety too.

Just 1.6 per cent of Gen Z respondents wanted an outdoor job, while a majority indicated a preference for both.

“I don’t think that implies manual labour is going to dissipate,” says Mr Smith.

“People think they’re going to be working a lot with technology.

“In the past an aged care worker may have seen themselves outdoors, taking patients for walks, a modern healthcare worker will be indoors, managing a patient with mobile devices that are highly technologically driven.”

Convenience is King

Gen Y and Z are reluctant to commute for work.

In fact, just one in five Gen Z respondents were happy to commute more than 20 minutes, and just one quarter were ‘happy’ to travel 10 minutes.

But Mr Smith puts it down to living highly engaged and connected lives, thanks to the internet.

“The internet brings everything closer together, and that translates to how they want to operate in reality.

“Basically, they’ve got better things to do than commute.”

This content was proudly sponsored by SpotJobs. 

If you would like to receive the SpotJobs Generational Report, simply click here and enter your details.

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