‘Burnt out and under-valued’: Croydon author tackles issues faced by millennials in the workplace

By - Monday 8th May, 2017

In her new book, ‘How To Have An Outstanding Career’, Croydon author Susan Scott addresses the issues faced in the workplace by millenials, otherwise known as Generation Y and explains how to create career success without crashing and burning out in the process.

Image by Susan Scott, used with permission.

Release begins: In the book, published on Monday 8th May by Croydon-based Filament Publishing, author, psychologist and career coach Susan Scott addresses the issues and concerns faced by Generation Y’s ‘young professionals’, people aged between twenty-one and thirty-two, seeking to establish themselves professionally in the uncertain economic climate of Britain in 2017 and building a reputation based on their knowledge, skills, impact and influence.

A Snapshot Survey conducted in April 2017 prior to the book’s launch reveals a search for meaning in working life and confirms that the the idea of a ‘career ladder’ up which one could pass in time is now outdated. Instead, the modern young professional must takes ownership of his or her career and drive change. It is this attitude which determines whether or not he or she gets that promotion or dream job, not waiting in line.

• 76% of respondents to the question “To what extent does your career define who you are?” answered positively.  This was the highest positive response and affirms that the majority of young professionals do see themselves as defined by their careers. A typical comment is “I feel like I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am and I’m proud of it and how it defines me.”

• However, only 24% felt that their managers understood or were supportive of their career aspirations, leading to the risk of mismatched expectations and potential disappointment from both parties. One respondent commented: “once a year for performance management and this is done as a tick box exercise. Aspirations aren’t taken seriously or nurtured.”

• Another concerning response is that to the question: “To what extent is your employer supporting the development of your career?” where 45% answered at the low end and only 30% answered positively.

• The good news is that 59% of respondents consider they manage to work on interesting and challenging projects and that they are using their skills and capabilities at work.

• 30% say they are unsure about how to make their career a success. A comment that sums up the scale of the challenge is: “Having fairly quickly risen to middle management level, I’m now struggling to see how to push forward and either specialise enough or broaden my knowledge to become a head of level.”

• In answering the question “To what extent do you feel able to cope with the demands and pressures of your work?”, 29% suggested that this is a struggle whilst 39% say that they are able to cope. This interesting finding mirrors what we see more generally, with a significant group of young professionals struggling at times to deal with all the pressures they face. We suspect that this is an ever changing situation and one that is highly situational. Comments in answering this question include: “Sometimes I suddenly feel overwhelmed” and “I am really struggling and am conscious that as my colleagues become aware of this it will hold my career back. I feel I am only just coping.”

With a 76% positive response, the survey confirms that young professionals are defined by their career and that career success is very important to this age group. Yet only half of young professionals feel that their career is following the path they want to take, probably because only a third believe they actually know how to make their career successful.

This means that the majority (two thirds) are probably floundering around hoping for someone to rescue them. They know what they want but they do not have the know-how to get them there. In other words, they are experiencing a ‘Career Void’.

It is worrying to see from these results how many highly driven, aspirational and talented young professionals are in danger of losing a career into which they have invested so much of their life and energy. At the same time, their employers are in grave danger of losing talent by their failure to support them.

Release ends.

Release sender: Filament Publishing.

‘How To Have An Outstanding Career’ is published by Filament Publishing.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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