Pay matters more, said Gen Z workers

As lovely as flexibility is, money is what pays the bills. Almost everyone will agree that higher pay is what motivates them to continue working. 

The Gen Z crowd takes this to another level. In a poll of new grads by career platform Muse, about half of Gen Zers report that they’d want to be paid 20% or more than the market rate to come into the office full-time.

The quest for more money is partly why entry-level workers have started job hopping. According to a recent report by professional services network Deloitte, higher pay is the top motivator for Gen Z and millennials quitting their jobs in the past two years.

As Great Resignation, inflation, and recession loom over the heads of the global workforce, almost all Gen Z workers agree that money — not flexibility — is the most important factor in deciding whether to stay or leave their organizations.

Gen Z’s don’t know anything but flexibility

The focus on money for most Gen Z workers is mostly tied to when they entered the workforce. Compared to boomers and millennials who are used to the office environment, this generation entered the labor market during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are used to working at home. Thus, they do not know anything other than flexibility. 

Moreover, working on their own for the past two years had disconnected them from their employers and colleagues. Having less emotional connection means that it is easier for them to walk away once a better offer opened up.

Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, said that “being loyal to one job forever has become as outdated as Facebook.” 

He added that most Gen Z-ers do not have any problem trading up “to jobs that pay more money as well as better fit their desired lifestyle.”

Flexibility vs higher pay

As possibilities of a recession loom, money is becoming more vital than before. And with Gen Zs still having to pay their student loans on top of different bills, most of them would gladly trade a flexible work arrangement for a higher salary. 

But DeAndre Brown, a 22-year-old Citibank employee and TikToker, pointed out that applicants don’t need to choose. 

“A lot of people do not realize how much power they truly have during an interview phase of a job,” he continues, pointing out that sometimes younger applicants get too eager and choose a job that only serves one priority. 

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