Young workers love the job, older ones the money

Survey gauges attitudes toward employment

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Most young people in Manitoba are working in their chosen field while most older employees are doing it for the money, a Harris/Decima survey says.

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This article was published 03/09/2011 (4000 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Most young people in Manitoba are working in their chosen field while most older employees are doing it for the money, a Harris/Decima survey says.

“I’m quite satisfied,” hairstylist Chalaine Hermary, 22, said on the eve of the Labour Day long weekend. She’s like three-quarters of Manitobans aged 18 to 30 who say they’re working in their chosen field, compared with 69 per cent of their peers across Canada, the survey said.

The provinces with the highest unemployment had the fewest young people working where they wanted. In Atlantic Canada, for instance, just 49 per cent were in jobs in their chosen field compared with 80 per cent in Alberta.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Hairstylist Chalaine Hermary, 22, loves her job and her workplace, Andrew�s Hair Salon on Ness Ave.

The poll, sponsored by job website Monster.ca, asked baby boomers and 18- to 30-year-olds — dubbed Generation Y — about their values, priorities and workplace experience.

One thing both generations have in common is they value work-life balance, with 97 per cent in both age groups saying it’s important.

“Firms are going to have to deal with that,” said Bill Smith, national project manager of Third Quarter, a pilot project launched by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce trying to match retired workers with job vacancies. It’s connecting retirees older than 50 who want to put their knowledge and skills back to work in new ways in the third quarter of their lives.

“Ironically, the things businesses want to get back — employees putting work ahead of their personal life, working nine to five and beyond — are gone,” Smith said. “They’re going to have to look at the workplace and expectations in a new light,” he said of companies vying for skilled and experienced workers of all ages.

In Manitoba, from September until July of this year, Third Quarter had about 1,300 job postings and matched 4,000 people to them, he said.

The other values young and older workers ranked equally important are making good money, followed by job security, opportunities for advancement and flexibility in where and when they work.

A fun company culture, however, is much more important for Generation Y. Eighty-eight per cent of then ranked it as important compared with 77 per cent of baby boomers.

“The people you work with make a huge difference,” said Hermary, the Gen Y hairstylist.

“I like the people and the different personalities,” said the 20-something who’s been a hairdresser for four years.

“I’d like to make more money but I wouldn’t trade the customers and my co-workers for anything,” she said.

Not everyone has such job satisfaction.

More boomers in Manitoba than anywhere else in Canada said they’re working for financial reasons first and foremost. Nearly three-quarters say the paycheque, not pleasure in what they do, motivates them. Only 27 per cent said they work for enjoyment.

It’s a different story for boomers who retire early and choose to go back to work, said Smith.

“We’re finding boomers who are retiring are taking a look at work in new way — how to work it in with their lifestyle.”

One-third of boomers in Manitoba expect to change jobs again before retiring, much higher than the national average of 23 per cent and higher than any other province.

The survey was conducted with 501 baby boomers (aged 47 to 62) and 501 Gen Y workers from July 27 through Aug. 12.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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