Generation Next want it all – and they want it now

Next generation of UK finance professionals seek rapid career progression and job mobility, finds global survey

Young finance professionals have their eye on a career promotion or a jump to a new job within the next two years, finds a global survey from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
The survey – entitled Generation Next – examines the career aspirations of the younger generation in finance today. Polling more than 2,000 professionals in the UK under the age of 36, the report reveals almost three quarters (71%) of respondents are looking to move jobs in the next two years, with 73% looking for a promotion.
Despite a desire to progress, the majority of respondents (73%) say they have great working relationships with their manager, and with team colleagues at 80%. But many seek a clearer path of career progression, with 39% saying there are no transparent career paths in their current organisations, and more than half (55%) that there is not enough capacity or not enough roles available for the next move.
John Williams, head of ACCA UK, said: “Generation Next is ‘generation now’ when it comes to mobility. 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 haemorrhaging 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.”
Respondents indicated that they were more likely to stay with an employer if they offered the opportunity to learn and develop skills (88%), career progression opportunities (88%) and a competitive financial remuneration package (87%). In the UK, the availability of international opportunities was the least important factor, rating not at all important to almost half (44%) of respondents.
Williams said: “While young professionals are happy to job hop here in the UK, they are far less likely to seek international experience than their counterparts in other regions.”
For ACCA UK, the findings reflect not only a fundamental shift in attitude, but also the growing significance of finance professionals at the highest levels of business.
Williams added: “Here in the UK and around the world, accountants and finance professionals are playing an increasingly important role in business success: not just in the traditional functions of reporting and audit, but also as strategic counsel and business advisers. It’s no wonder that those equipped with such an in-demand skillset should see the possibilities of applying their experience in the most senior positions.
“So the challenge ahead for employers 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.”


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