16 to 24 year olds most likely to ‘be where they want to be’ in their career

Younger workers are most likely to be happy in their jobs, according to a ‘Happiness at Work Index’ from leading office recruiter Office Angels. The report suggests that employees in the 16 to 24 age group are most optimistic and enthusiastic about their working lives, and most likely to feel they are supported by their employer and have the right tools and training in place to do their job to the best of their ability.

Overall, 44% of 16 to 24 year olds say that they are happy in their current job, with 10% claiming to be very happy. This compares to just 37% of 25 to 54 year olds. At the other end of the scale, a quarter of 45 to 54 year olds (25%) rate themselves as either unhappy or very unhappy, compared to just 15% of 16 to 24 year olds.

One reason why younger people are so optimistic may be that they are more likely to feel prepared for their future career, as three quarters of young people (77%) claim to have a career plan, while more than half of 35 to 54 year olds (52%) have none at all. 44% of 16 to 24 year olds have a plan for the next one to two years, compared to just 23% of 35 to 54 year olds, and 22% of the younger age group have a plan for the next three to five years, compared to just 14% of older workers.

Surprisingly, 64% of 16 to 24 year olds feel that they are where they want to be in their career, compared to only half of 35 to 54 year olds (52%). Almost one in ten people in the younger age bracket (9%) go so far as to say that they are ahead of where they planned to be by this stage of their lives, compared to just one in twenty-five 35 to 54 year olds (4%).

Steve Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of Office Angels, says, “These figures are very encouraging. They show that young workers are making a proactive decision to think about a career, and that their employers are actively supporting them. In a time when younger people do face a number of challenges, these figures paint a positive picture about those people who will decide the future of our economy.”