Hunger for life-work balance marks Indian youth, says study

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Gone are the days when earning money, buying a car or a flat were the sole aims of life — young people in India these days want more out of life, and strive to balance personal life and work, often in that order of priority, a new study has found.

The mantra for today’s youth, the millennials, born after 1985, is You Only Live Once (YOLO). The Indian YOLO study, by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), sponsored by B’lue, a new soft drink, reveals that the youth in India do not look to employment as their final destination. They are also hungrier for experience than earlier generations.

“The millennials believe in exploring all new opportunities with fascination. They don’t see a job as the beginning of a career, but as a new experience. If they don’t like it, there is another one to experience,” the study said.

According to the report, around 54 percent of youth will consider a job with less work time and 89 percent of youth look for flexible timing while opting for a job.

“The ‘Experience Generation’ counts the number of experiences as more important as compared to previous generations, for whom experience was counted in number of years of work put in. That is why perhaps they are not able to stick to any job for longer than a few months and rarely does the stint at a job stretch beyond a year at the beginning of the work life,” the report said.

The study said that while employers read this as poor loyalty, the truth is that millennials are signalling, through these thumbnail careers, the return of the management trainee system, which most employers have summarily dismissed from their training calendars.

The survey also highlights that the size of the company is not an important concern for job-seekers. On an average, 76 percent youth give more weightage to a job with learning opportunities and growth.

Millennials seek “life-work” balance instead of “work-life” balance.

They believe in living their life to the fullest, pursuing their dreams and passions and focusing more on having a well-balanced life.

The study also highlights that this generation shares most of its life experience with their parents.

“This generation is conditioned to sharing most of their life’s accounts with their parents. It was their parents who chose to drop the authoritarian parenting they had experienced when they were young,” the study said.

“With parents as good as friends who comment on their Facebook updates, there are very few secrets that the millennials keep. If one is seeing someone, the parents, mostly the mothers, know that,” the report holds.

However, in the corporate set-up, the youth face some problems as they expect their employer to help them learn, just as their parents did.

“In corporate set-ups they are eager team players. So much so that they expect their employers to help them learn just as their parents did. This expectation may not go down too well with today’s employers who do feel this generation is too much about ‘show me how it is done’ attitude,” it said.

The youth are also more eager to contribute in changing their society. Almost 51.2 percent youth across Mumbai and Delhi today express their keenness to work for charitable causes and betterment of society. Nearly 38 percent say they want to join politics.

There is a lot of optimism as well. About 45 percent youth feel that economic conditions of the country in the next five years will be much better.

The study was conducted in Delhi and Mumbai, and 500 youth were surveyed.

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