New ACCA survey finds young professionals seek rapid career change, promotion

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According toa new surveyfromThe Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a majority of young finance professionals around the world expect a new job or promotion in the next two years.

Dubbed Generation Next,the survey polled approximately 19,000 professionals, all under 36 years old, from 150 countries to better examine the current desires and aspirations of finance professionals.

The report reveals that nearly 70% of those polled are actively looking to change their current jobs in the next two years, with another 67% seeking a promotion.

“Generation Next is ‘generation now’ when it comes to mobility,” stated Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA. “There is no doubt that the “job for life” is less prevalent within the modern world and employers who don’t deliver on their high expectations risk hemorrhaging their best talent to competitors, both at home and abroad. If employers want to keep hold of their talent, then they need to ensure career planning packages are available, from learning and development to talent-spotting initiatives.”

The survey found that young professionals were more willing to stay in their current positions if they were offered to learn and develop their skills (88%), career progression opportunities (88%), or a competitive pay (87%). A significant 81% of respondents also stated their desires to start their own business in the future, with 10% looking to do so as the next chapter in their careers.

“Our future finance leaders are happy to seize the initiative in the labour market to achieve professional satisfaction," added Brand. "They know that demand for their skills is high and if their employer isn’t delivering, they won’t wait around. The result of that is employers can’t attract, nurture, or retain the finance leaders of tomorrow in the same way they did the leaders of today. So the challenge ahead for employers, both large and small, is making sure they provide the sort of work environment and clear path for progression that the best of the next generation demand.”

Concerning gender,Generation Nextfound that women are more likely to be satisfied with their pay (36%, to 30% of men) and current employer (42%, to 37% of men).

“While men and women were equally likely to seek roles on the basis of remuneration and career progression, the research does indicate that females in generation next are still expecting to balance their job with family life,” Brand stated. “Women are more likely to accept a role on the basis of work life balance (87%, compared to 69% of men) and flexible working arrangements (75%, compared to 69% of men).”

Automation has also been discussed as a possible negative to the finance profession, yet those polled saw it largely as an opportunity, not a hazard, moving forward.

“The next generation understands that automation will replace the need for human capital across a number of functions, but far from being threatened by this, they see it as an opportunity to free up time for strategic activities,” added Brand. “More than half (57%) of respondents believe that technology will replace many entry level roles in the profession. However 84% say that technology will enable them to focus on much higher value-added activity.”

For the fullGeneration Next report, head to the ACCA's site here. For report highlights, click here.

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