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Young Poles: Between Optimism and Concerns About Financial Stability

FINANCEYoung Poles: Between Optimism and Concerns About Financial Stability

Although optimism about personal financial situations and economic prospects is the highest among “Gen Z” and millennials since 2020, the cost of living remains their biggest concern. According to the Deloitte report “2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey,” while economic factors influence the career decisions of today’s twenty- and thirty-somethings, they are not the only determinants. One in five young Poles left their previous job due to a lack of a sense of purpose, and the opportunity for development is the most common factor in choosing a new employer.

The survey, conducted among nearly 30,000 respondents from North America, Latin America, Europe (including Poland), the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, shows that despite financial concerns, other significant factors for the youngest generations in their careers include more than just salary. Nearly half of Gen Z and one-third of millennials have decided not to consider a potential employer due to their personal ethical beliefs.

Young People Struggle with Lack of Financial Stability

– One in three Polish Gen Z and one in four millennials expect an improvement in the economic situation in Poland within the next year. The level of optimism among young generations in Poland has increased over the last 12 months and is the highest since the pre-pandemic survey in 2020. However, currently, almost one-third of Gen Z and millennials declare a lack of financial security, and nearly one-sixth of respondents spend their entire salary and are unable to save. On the other hand, the job market situation for young people has significantly improved compared to the early 21st century when the unemployment rate for 20-29-year-olds was twice as high and exceeded 20 percent, says Aleksander Łaszek, Senior Manager in the Economic Analysis Team, Deloitte.

Young Poles are more pessimistic about their financial future than the overall survey population. Improvement in household budgets is expected by 45% of Gen Z and only one-third of millennials (28%), which is 3 and 12 percentage points less than respondents from all countries, respectively. Poles worry about living costs more often than the overall respondents. Nearly half of Gen Z and millennial representatives from Poland (46% and 44%) point to this area as the most concerning. Poles differ from their peers in other countries, whose financial conditions also worry them, but to a lesser extent. This was indicated by 40% of millennials and 34% of Gen Z globally. These concerns negatively affect the well-being of young Poles. In Poland, 31% of Gen Y and 38% of Gen Z admit to experiencing constant or frequent stress, and 45% and 50% of these groups, respectively, rate their mental health positively.

Work also negatively impacts the well-being of respondents. Half of them indicated that they are stressed by, among other things, a lack of support and recognition, overtime work, and insufficient time to complete tasks. Although the first step to resolving organizational problems is to talk with a supervisor, only half of young Poles (53% of Gen Z and 50% of Gen Y) feel comfortable taking such an action.

Desire for Development as a Reason for Changing Employers

Similar to other countries, over 7 out of 10 Polish respondents indicate that their current job gives them a sense of purpose (71% of Gen Z and 73% of Gen Y). However, lower satisfaction levels were noted regarding the alignment of employer values with their own. In Poland, 64% of Gen Z and 60% of millennials express satisfaction in this regard, which is 7 and 12 percentage points lower than the overall respondents, respectively.

The youngest generations strive to maintain a sense of purpose in their work through their career choices. When looking for a new job, respondents from Poland prioritize learning and development opportunities, salary and financial benefits, and flexible working hours. These factors are key for 31%, 23%, and 21% of Gen Z, and 22%, 26%, and 16% of millennials, respectively. The youngest Poles stand out among other respondents (including millennials from their country) with greater determination in seeking jobs that offer development opportunities.

Upon joining an organization, the youngest generations focus on acting in line with their beliefs, which translates into their engagement in tasks. Nearly half of Polish Gen Z representatives (49%) and one-third of millennials (34%) have refused to carry out work orders due to personal values. The results for Polish Gen Z are consistent with the declarations of all representatives of this generation, while for Gen Y, they are 9 percentage points lower than their peers from other countries.

– Employers should pay special attention to the remarkable desire for learning among young people, as well as their personal values. These are sources of motivation and the feeling that their daily efforts are meaningful and worth the effort. Supporting the curiosity of Gen Z and millennials is valuable not only for these groups but also for leaders sharing their knowledge. The opportunity to share experiences can be extremely satisfying and encouraging for further development. Therefore, employers should view the needs and beliefs of the youngest generations with understanding and respect, says Monika Matysiak-Szymańska, Partner in the Financial Advisory Department, Talent Partner, Deloitte.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted between November 24, 2023, and March 11, 2024, among 14,468 Gen Z and 8,373 millennials (a total of 22,841 respondents) from North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe (including Poland), the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The survey was conducted via an online, self-administered questionnaire. Polish respondents made up 3.5% of the total surveyed population (301 Gen Z and 200 millennials). In the survey, Gen Z refers to those born between January 1995 and December 2005, while millennials are those born between January 1983 and December 1994.

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