Australians, like most other people, do not usually stay at one job—or even in one field—for the entirety of their working lives. But, as one might expect, the time spent in the same job varies from person to person, generation to generation, and age group to age group, among other things. This variation within factors is fascinating to observe, and thanks to Valued Opinions™ online surveys in Australia, we can see some trends. Here’s what you need to know about job longevity for Australians.
The job landscape has altered dramatically over the previous years and decades in Australia. Australian workers decades ago would usually enter the workforce in a field that they hoped to build a career in. Slowly, over time—and due largely to innovation, technology, and the infinitely more diverse modern market—first jobs became more about getting your foot in the door, making connections, and saving money, and less about landing your long term job on the first shot.
Of Australian women ages 15-24, 34% had their first job last only 1-2 years. Men in the same age bracket are essentially split between 1-2 years, and 2-5 years with 28% in for each segment. From there, as we change generations, we see this shift take place. For Australian women of all other age brackets (25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+), the most popular answer was 2-5 years, with 5-10 years, and 10 or more years steadily increasing in popularity. For men ages 25-34 and 35-44, 2-5 years was the most popular answer for length of first employment, and for ages 45-54, 55-64, and 65+, 10 or more years was the most common answer.
This information provided by Valued Opinions shows just how much the landscape of first jobs has shifted over the last 40 years.
Longevity Relative to Age
Not only did initial jobs last longer in the past than they do now, but the younger generations are showing a tendency to bounce between jobs with great regularity. While Australian men 945-54, 55-54 and 65+) reported 10 or more years as the most common length of their first job, both men and women ages 25-34 reported that their longest job ever—not just first job—was most likely to have lasted only 2-5 years. In fact, there were more men and women in that age bracket that said that their longest job was 1-2 years, than there were those who said 10 or more years, according to Valued Opinions.
This certainly suggests that younger generations of workers in Australia are more likely to stay at their job for a short period of time before moving on or being terminated.
The ongoing struggles of the Australian economy certainly contribute to the younger generations experiencing less longevity in their jobs than older generations did . Businesses more frequently have to cut employees, and employees are more frequently looking for jobs with greater fiscal benefits.
Hopefully the Australian economy will stabilize and bring greater longevity to workers, but the reality is that this is simply the current trend for Australian workers. They’re more likely to look for new opportunities, new pay, and new interests, and employers are more likely to do exactly the same.