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Job-hopping generation

By Xu Haoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-14 07:38
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Xia Zeyu, a 26-year-old who works in finance, sees changing jobs as a way to broaden his horizons.

"Jobs let you learn more about a certain field. And, maybe during the process, you will access something more attractive, say, for example, a job related to this one. And, this new thing may ignite your new passion," says Xia.

"Job-hopping, as a result, is like ticking off destinations on a map-the further you go, the more you experience and understand."

On the other hand, the generations born before 1990 are more likely to be satisfied working for the same company.

Yang Xiaonan, who was born in 1987, has been working in the same hotel for more than five years. He started working on reception, helping guests with reservations and check-ins for two years, and was later promoted to manager before being made the director of operations.

"I find my post-1990 generation colleagues move to quit when they cannot see a tangible future in their current job, while I waited for my chance to come. I see working at a lower level as a stepping stone to achieving something bigger in the future."

"I've been doing repetitive work, but aren't all jobs like that?"

In March 2016, Zhaopin, a Chinese recruitment website, looked at 15,786 questionnaires answered nationwide by people of the post-1990 generation about their attitudes toward careers and occupation planning.

It was found that 76 percent of the people polled showed they were eager to pursue their occupations, 62 percent looked to the potential development of their careers, and 81 percent would rather work hard and get promoted than live an easy life.

Li Xia, a senior researcher on markets and media at Peking University who has studied post-1990 generation graduates, says that it is a good thing that the younger generation is looking for better prospects through changing jobs. But, she says, frequent job-hopping by the post-1990 generation also shows a lack of corporate loyalty.

She also says that young people will find it hard to understand a job or a company's culture in two to three years, let alone in a shorter period.

Work-life balance

The report from Zhaopin also says that 73 percent of the post-1990 generation want a better work-life balance.

Wang's second job was as a business analyst at an internet company where she was assigned to study the work plan of every department and summarize the information into a 10-page PowerPoint presentation for the company's vice-president.

Wang had to work on weekends to get the report ready.

She was so exhausted with the schedule that she quit the job two months later.

Speaking about why she resigned, she says: "I value free time-to get some rest and recharge myself."

Zheng Zilu, 24, from East China's Zhejiang province, also quit her job as a business developer at an internet company after just three months.

She described her work schedule as "996"-get to work at 9 am, leave the office at 9 pm, six days a week including Saturdays.

The post-1990 generation is a different breed, and describing them, Career Frog, a platform that helps place people with jobs or internships globally, says this group has grown up in a relatively wealthy age with the influence of individualism from the West and as the generation raised under China's one-child policy.

Unlike previous generations, they don't believe in such virtues as dedication or sacrificing themselves for the greater good. On the contrary, they focus more on satisfying their own needs. They give priority to personal development, and put the interests of the employer in second place.

Also, it is hard to convince them to give up personal interests or individual preferences, such as leisure, to pursue a career.

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