Young Workers Are So Anxious About Pay, Research Reveals 2 in 3 Have A Second Job

Two thirds of professionals under the age of 24yrs claim to have a ‘side hustle’ – with 74% stating it is ‘too risky’ to focus on just having one job as they may have done pre-pandemic.
In a poll undertaken by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters; 54% of young professionals expressed a desire for a ‘portfolio career’ – the concept of monetising your skills in several ways and having multiple income sources, rather than a single job at one company.
In fact, 53% of young workers have stated that flexible hours and a hybrid working environment is a must when looking for a job – otherwise it will impact their side-hustle.


Anxiety rife for young workers


According to the Robert Walters survey of 6,000 professionals, it is 18–24-year-olds (Gen Z) who reported feeling twice as anxious as their more experienced colleagues in the past 18 months around job security, pay, relationships at work, and their mental well-being.


Young professionals living pay cheque to pay cheque


When looking into the pay of young professionals, we can see that almost a third of 18–24-year-olds are on a salary band of £16 – £21k. With the largest proportion (25%) being on salaries of £21 – £28K.
For those young professionals that are earning around £28,000 – after tax, national insurance, and student loan repayments – take home can be in the region of £1,800 per month.
When we consider the current cost of living, figures show that this cohort of young workers are unable to financially live by themselves – whilst also saving money for the future and investing in a pension for their retirement.



The inability for employers to keep increasing salaries in-line with inflation or cost of living means that the young professionals situation is only worsening, leading them to looking for additional sources of income.
Toby Fowlston, CEO at Robert Walters, comments: “Our survey has found that side-hustles are a priority for young professionals but for too long side-jobs have been considered a ‘dirty secret’ by employers.”
“However, I don’t believe this is the right approach. Portfolio careers have long been a go-to for highly experienced professionals who use their knowledge and offer consultancy, training, or advisory services when near or post-retirement.”
“If viewed through a different lens, a side hustle or portfolio career for a junior professional showcase’s entrepreneurialism, initiative, innovative thinking, and great project management skills. All characteristics which should be championed by employers.”
“For those concerned about employees being distracted it’s worth noting that 70% of Gen Z professionals state that their employer does meet their career expectations, the highest out of any other age cohort. A side hustle does not necessarily mean that an employee is not interested in progressing within their primary job.”