The Job-Hopping Generation: Young Professionals Are On The Move

October 11, 2018

Change is in the air. More than 40% of professionals are interested in making a career pivot, whether that’s to a different industry or a different function entirely. And of those that do pivot, 50% move to a different industry, and more than 60% change functions entirely. While this behavior is common across the board, Gen Z is taking the cake as the most mobile professional generation.

Young professionals making moves

Gen Z is more than 3X more likely to change jobs, with 20% of them averaging 4 or more jobs over the short period of time they’ve been in the workforce, compared to Baby Boomers who average just 2 jobs in the past ten years. This indicates that Gen Z is on the hunt for the right job that aligns with their values.

  • While Gen Zers are early on in their careers, they’re not necessarily interested in moving quickly up the corporate ladder. In fact, 80% of workers under 24 would consider a complete change in function or industry.

  • That doesn’t mean they're necessarily itching to leave, but professionals are keeping their options open. Earlier research found that 68% of workers admitting they fear there may be better options out there. In fact, the #1 regret people have when it comes to their careers, is not trying harder to get their dream job (17%)  

  • More than anything, they are open to relocating! Half of professionals under 24 would consider moving for a new role, and nearly 20% said they would welcome the opportunity to travel.

Benefits aren’t everything

There’s no doubt that salary and benefits are an important part of a job, but when it comes to millennials and Gen Z, it’s not everything. In fact, personal relationships, learning and growth opportunities, and simply enjoying the work they’re doing were all important - signaling that culture is increasingly becoming one of the most important things for young professionals.

  • Half of Gen Z professionals are staying at their job simply because they enjoy it. They were also more likely than any other age group to choose their job because it was something they’ve always wanted to do.

  • Almost half (45%) of professionals under the age of 24 noted that work relationships is what is keeping them at their current job, compared to 25% for those over 35.

  • Nearly 40% are staying in their current role due to opportunities to learn and grow, and 30% stated this was one of the factors they valued most in their careers.

They’re ready to talk

Our research shows that 70% of professionals believe that their support system is one of the top factors that contributes to their success at work, and young people are no different. Nearly 40% (36%) of those under 24 stated they would speak to their manager when thinking about a career change, whereas professionals those over 45 were much more hesitant, with just over 20% (23%) saying they would.

And they’re not just looking for a raise. They’re overwhelmingly (65%) actually looking for honest advice about what to do next, and additional learning opportunities (35%).

If you’re looking to make a career change, check out these LinkedIn Learning classes - available for free for the next two months - to help you get started: Figuring Out Your Next Move and Taking Charge of Your Career.

We know that success means different things to different people. This new generation is ready for a #CareerPivot, and on the hunt for learning opportunities, the right culture, and the job that’s right for them.

Remember, no matter what you’re in it for, there is a community on LinkedIn that can help you achieve it.  We’re all #InItTogether.


LinkedIn surveyed more than 2,000 professionals in the United States in May 2018. Generation Z are defined as those who are under the age of 24.