Generation Y pioneers multi-faceted careers

Generation Y pioneers multi-faceted careers

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By Jenny Ringland   

They are the workers who refuse to be pigeonholed, dismiss the work ethic of older generations, yet think nothing of working seven days a week.

Gen Y is the mobile generation they are always considering their options yet cannot fathom having the same career for their entire working life.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports more than half a million Australians have more than one job.

Of those multiple job holders, 61 per cent say they are happy with the number of jobs they work.

A Graduate Careers Australia survey has found more than one in 10 graduates were in further full-time study three years after completing their original course. According to business adviser Bernard Salt, Gen Y is the “options generation” who are pioneering the notion of an evolving multi-faceted career. “They call themselves slashies. It’s a term I’ve noticed in the past two or three years,” Salt says.

“It’s a Gen Y phenomenon and term describing someone who, for example, might be an accountant / journalist / blogger.” Salt says that 20 years ago a slashie would have been called a jack-of-all-trades.

“We did not approve. It was tolerated but not viewed positively,” he says. “Now younger generations are not having kids until their early 30s it gives them time to try out different careers, see what they like.”

A five-year Sydney University Australia at Work study of 8000 workers nationwide found that one in 10 employees held multiple jobs.

Young multiple job holders were more likely to be female, employed in casual jobs and work part-time hours.

The university’s Workplace Research Centre researcher Sharni Chan says there is an assumption that young people trend towards short-term project-based work in several types of jobs rather than a traditional career structure.

“This is a generation that has grown up in Australia after a period of labour market deregulation,” Chan says.

Milestone IT principal consultant Chris Chand says Gen Y sees opportunity in their passions, rather than a hobby enjoyed in spare time.

“The guys I work with all do something on the side. One is a DJ on the weekends,” Chand says.

“I do audio production work on the side. I do it because it’s my passion. The reality is the money I would make from doing it full time would be mediocre.”

Chand says the decision to seek remuneration for hobbies has become a way of life.

“At least 50 per cent of Gen Y I know have multi-

ple jobs,” he says. “You

can’t always follow your passion. So people become an accountant to pay the bills and their passion turns into their second job.”

Daniel McLaughlin, who has been a lifeguard for 10 years, went back to TAFE five years ago to learn a trade. “It was starting to become a chore so I decided to do something else to keep it enjoyable,” McLaughlin says.

Having two careers creates more opportunity, he says. “In the summer months, I’m more busy at the beach and in the winter months I have more chippie work on. I generally do six days on at the beach and four days off. I’m on the tools on the days off,” he says.

“You need something to fall back on.”


* 12 per cent of those who work in the arts hold a second job

* Of those who hold multiple jobs 54 per cent are women

* Mining workers are least likely to work more than one job with just 1 per cent with two jobs

* 61% of multiple job workers were happy with the number of jobs they worked

* More than 50,000 Australian have more than one job

* 73 per cent of workers wish they were working somewhere else

Article from CareerOne

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