Research Finds More Than Half Of Young Tech Workers Are Considering Changing Career

More than a third of young tech workers (35%) are unhappy in their role, with over half (54%) considering a complete change of career plan – according to the Young Generation in Tech survey commissioned by HR tech leader, HiBob and leading global venture fund, Eight Roads.

Under 30s surveyed blame poor management and a clear lack of progression for job dissatisfaction, but there are signs that increasing concern over redundancies is a factor.

This is leading to as many as one in four respondents thinking about quitting their current job, despite the cost-of-living crisis and fears they have about their future. Workers in the UK, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands are particularly fearful that they will be laid off.  Across Europe, 27% of young tech workers think they could be fired in the current economic downturn, while in the UK the figure is 37% and in Sweden 33%.


A wakeup call for the tech industry


The figures present an in-depth look at the working conditions of young people across the European tech sector, and will come as both a shock and a warning to an industry that prides itself on being dynamic, exciting and enjoyable.

More than 2,000 Gen Z and younger Millennial employees working in tech startups and enterprises across France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK were asked about their ambitions, and fears. The sample included both technical and non-technical roles across engineering and product management, marketing, sales, operations and C-Suite positions.

Their responses indicate that young employees may be falling out of love with the tech sector. They suggest that as the industry faces an economic downturn, companies need to urgently address issues including career development, progression, remuneration and workplace relationships,  if they are to keep their best talent from leaving the industry.


Poor job satisfaction driving people away


Across Europe 30% of the 20-30 year olds surveyed described their current job as falling below their expectations, leading to poor job satisfaction, with the younger age bracket (20-25) being most affected. Only 30% of respondents said they would recommend their workplace to friends or family, identifying a lack of good relationships, inadequate compensation, and poor career development for their unhappiness.

The measures that would encourage dissatisfied employees to stay in their roles included better career progression (37%), an increase in salary (34%) and a contract that protected them against layoffs (18%), the survey found.



Job security over job satisfaction


The Young Generation in Tech survey also shows that across Europe, Gen Z and younger Millennials are prioritising jobs they believe will give them greater security over work enjoyment and job satisfaction.

The most attractive feature when looking for a job (as chosen by 27% of those surveyed)  was the future potential of a company, closely followed by job security (25%). This motivation was highest in Spain and was higher in the older age bracket of 26-30 year olds, in comparison to the 20-25 year olds surveyed. Worries over job security even out-ranked the compensation packages on offer (23%), and were on par with working hours or models (25%), across all regions. In contrast,  only 18% of workers in Europe said they moved to their current role for a promotion.


The economic downturn is impacting  career decisions


Tech workers across Europe are facing career uncertainty as a result of the economic downturn, even though the tech sector is still hiring many more people than it lets go.  Job insecurity means that workers have less ability to make long term decisions, leading over half (54%) of all tech workers in Europe to consider a complete change of career plan.  Workers in both Spain (60%) and the Netherlands (59%) consider their career plans most impacted by the downturn.


The flexible working dilemma


When it came to shifting working models, the Young Generation in Tech survey found that flexible hours were the most valued workplace condition among young people, with  1 in 4 joining their current company due to a flexible working model. Yet the challenges of implementing flexible working are laid bare in that nearly one in five said that lack of time in the office, and the opportunity to build relationships was one of the things they liked the least about their role.

In fact, relationships were found to play a significant role in job satisfaction across the board.  Almost half (49%) of young people surveyed said their immediate team and co-workers were what they liked most about their company. While poor relationships with their managers was their biggest dislike.