European Youth Portal
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Job hoppers: is changing workplaces on a regular basis the new Y- generation trend?

What determines the employment preferences of the Y generation? The need for change makes commitment to a workplace on the long run less and less desirable. Young people’s attitude to the workplace is changing. Now you can find out why and what the consequences might be.

What kind of workplaces do young people prefer?


The question seems very simple, but as research illustrates, the employment preferences of young people are largely determined by the attitude of the employer, the atmosphere at work and the opportunities to grow professionally. Such considerations are often more important than financial compensation. It was also highlighted that most young people do not work in the field they studied or gained a degree in.


This phenomenon is not only true for Hungary, but for young Europeans in general. The reasons are unknown but it can be assumed that what is taught at school does not correlate to the world of work.


Here or abroad?

It cannot be left out of consideration that in today’s world, the opportunities for mobility often increase young people’s willingness to work abroad. Many of them leave their home countries in search of adventure or better life conditions. The most popular locations include the United Kingdom, Germany and recently, the choice of Scandinavian countries is on the rise as well. Many of them return home but there are some who settle down abroad permanently. According to the 2016 Hungarian Youth Research, more and more young people are planning to go abroad: every third person between the ages of 15 and 29 claimed that they had plans to leave the country for study or work.

Multi or startup?


Multis are known for the attention they pay to creating a friendly and cosy working atmosphere for their workers. It’s enough to think about the playfully furnished Google or Prezi offices or any similar companies that prioritize on the comfort of their workers and dream up inspiring spaces. For the members of the Y and Z generations, these spaces are the most attractive. Every young person’s dream is to work in an office where they can play table tennis, table football or billiards during their lunch break, just chill on the bean bags with their colleagues or use slides from one floor to the other. The pieces of furniture determine the employees’ mood as well, because the traditional white walls are definitely not the most inspiring environment.


At the same time, many young people have a Zuckerberg hiding inside them who started his successful venture of Facebook from his dorm room. Most of the worldwide successes (which grew huge from a small idea) started from a garage (or a similarly small place and idea) and were conceived by young people who were full of ideas and dreams. The Y and Z generation youth often have the enthusiasm to create, take risks and work for their dreams.

Gap year


One of the reasons for changing workplaces is to go on a so-called gap year, when – normally for a year – people get detached from their everyday lives and do something completely different with their lives, for example volunteer, travel around the world or go to work abroad with a work and holiday visa. It can be an ideal solution in between changing workplaces and in certain cases it also benefits society.

How much time do young people spend at one workplace? Who counts as a job hopper?


A job hopper is a person who changes their workplace on a regular basis and even takes on several positions within one year. This of course has its own advantages and disadvantages. Being a job hopper does not necessarily mean that these people cannot find their place – on the contrary! They are open, conscious and self-confident and are not afraid of change. We have collected some of their specific behaviours and in general, the aspects influencing their choice to change employment.

The ten most important aspects determining the choice of a workplace:


  1. the opportunity to grow
  2. nice colleagues
  3. cosy environment
  4. internet access
  5. chance for innovation
  6. flexible hours
  7. the opportunity to build a career
  8. motivational system
  9. the option to attend trainings
  10. good balance between work and private life


Young people’s mobility on the labour market has increased and workplaces will have to adapt to this trend in the future. Whether they like the phenomenon of job hoppers or not, they have to be ready to take its existence into consideration.



Mónika Holczer 

Translated by Judit Molnár

Pictures: Freepik, Freepik, Flickr, FlickrFreepik

Published: Fri, 30/11/2018 - 17:32

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