Money isn't everything

Young workers want career growth and development opportunities
||Last Updated: 09/06/2007

Young workers choose career growth and professional development opportunities over money when deciding on a job, according to a new survey.

When starting their careers, only 16 per cent of the under-30 workforce believe salary is the most important factor in a job, compared to one-quarter of workers over 40 who say money was their primary consideration when they started in the workforce.

This shift in attitudes was discovered in a survey by consulting firm RSM Richter, which asked 259 Canadians under 30 and 724 Canadians over 40 to rank the most important things a company could offer for them to consider a job.

"Money can't buy you happiness and these days it can't buy young talent either," said Lisa Fusina, HR manager for RSM Richter in Toronto and Calgary.

"Because money is less of a motivator for young professionals than ever before, we find smart businesses paying more attention to career and professional development issues to attract this new generation of workers."

While the younger respondents ranked career growth and professional development higher than their older counterparts (37 per cent compared to 30 per cent), both the younger and older workers ranked access to senior management as their lowest priority.

"The relatively low priority of direct access to senior management was a surprise to us," said Cherine Zananriri, manager of HR for RSM Richter in Montreal.

"At RSM Richter, we find there's a direct correlation to career growth by having the ability and opportunity to engage senior partners in day-to-day decision making."

Survey findings:

Most important factor when starting a careerUnder 30Over 40 (looking back)
A job with high monetary compensation16 per cent25 per cent
Career growth and professional development37 per cent30 per cent
Direct access to senior management5 per cent4 per cent

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