Under-35-year-olds are afraid to fail at work

Under-35-year-old employees feel they are under immense pressure to exhibit a standard of professionalism which shuns emotion.

This was discovered by Utopia, the culture change business that found that 54 per cent of under-35-year-olds male employees and 63 per cent of the same age female employees are afraid to fail at work. This feeling has been heightened by the spread of COVID-19 with the majority of staff now working from home, or experiencing pay cuts or a greater sense of job uncertainty.

Also, 53 per cent of under-35-year-old workers feel they will be judged at work for showing vulnerability.

The responsibility this age group of workers face at home seems to compound the problem as 67 per cent of men and 52 per cent of women feel even more pressure to provide for their family. Half of the under-35-year-old men and 48 per cent of women feel they take on the role of the primary carer in their household.

Under half (41 per cent) of under-35-year-old women believe they cannot advance in their career due to their gender compared to 25 per cent of women across all age brackets.

These pressures are “leaving under-35s paralysed, leading them to believe their job prospects are frozen, with nowhere to raise these issues and little support.”

Daniele Fiandaca, the co-founder at Utopia, said:

Under-35s are facing a confidence crisis at work – the mounting pressure of responsibility at home, coupled with the traditionally masculine traits still prevalent in many organisations, means they’re uncomfortable with seemingly simple fixes like asking for help. For women in particular, this has led to frustration when it comes to career progression.

As new lockdown measures cause further anxiety, it’s vital that business leaders take time to check in with employees and demonstrate empathy. The focus on employee wellbeing can’t be forgotten simply because people are now ‘used’ to lockdown and working from home; under-35s are clearly feeling the strain, and their concerns need to be acknowledged and addressed with clearly-mapped support strategies.

Utopia spoke to 2,000 respondents across the UK to gather these results.