- 36% of 16-26 year olds in the UK say their ultimate career goal is to own their own business or freelance
- Only 24% say the offer of remote working is a factor when choosing a job but 44% say they want flexible working hours
New data launching today reveals the work preferences and career ambitions of UK Gen Z, as the majority shun traditional 9-5 employment in favour of flexible hours and the opportunity to be their own boss. Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), conducted a global study of Gen Z (defined as between the ages of 16 and 26), including over 2,000 Gen Z in the UK. The majority of these respondents (71%) said they were planning to freelance in their career, or already do, with a further 36% saying their ultimate career goal is to be their own boss.
Re-writing the rules of work
The findings of this survey point to a generation that does not subscribe to the traditional 9-5, full-time career. Nearly half (49%) say their ultimate career goal is to be financially comfortable, but a ‘traditional’ job is not viewed as the only way to achieve this. In fact, 39% of respondents say they believe a fulfilling job can be achieved in a full time or freelance role, with or without a university degree. Almost a third (32%) of UK Gen Z say their work ethic is determined by passion, and 1 in 5 (20%) say they ‘live to work’, not ‘work to live.’
Remote work not a priority for UK Gen Z
The top three priorities for UK Gen Z when choosing are flexible working hours (44%), a positive and friendly work culture (35%), and the ability to build skills (34%). Surprisingly, one of the least popular considerations was remote work, with only 24% saying that a remote work offering would sway them towards a particular job. The findings show that UK Gen Z care less about where they work, and more about having control over when they work - rather than being confined to a 9-5 job, or a 5 day week, for example.
The self-employed generation
UK Gen Z present as a generation that are motivated by being their own boss. 36% say their ultimate goal is to own their own business or freelance, and 22% say a top career consideration is to be independent and driven. As a result, many are choosing a freelance or self employed career path. 71% freelance already or plan to during their career, with 42% doing so to earn extra income and 39% saying it better suits their lifestyle.
Many view freelancing or self employment as a viable option in the current economic environment. 38% view freelancing as a good way to make money during rising inflation, and 28% note that freelancing gives people the ability to change their rates in line with fluctuating living costs. 27% say they will consider freelancing if they are impacted by layoffs, although 31% express concern that freelancing full time in the current environment may not be a stable enough career.
“As the latest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z is at the forefront of the latest trends transforming the world of work. Amid an economic downturn and a rapidly shifting labour market, we’re seeing Gen Z continue to prioritize flexibility and passion-driven work, making freelance careers an increasingly appealing option,” said Gali Arnon, CMO of Fiverr. “As we’ve observed in the growing community of Gen Z freelancers on Fiverr, the autonomy freelancing affords serves as a major draw for a generation eager to pursue their passions, hone their skills, and have more control over their earnings and career trajectory.”