2018-08-31 12:45:02 Liu Xin
Young Chinese jobseekers born in and after 1995 are likely to quit their first job on average within seven months, which has invoked heated public discussion on China’s social media. The topic has been viewed a staggering 66 million times and had 20,000 comments on Weibo.
Having graduated from university in June, Dandan (not her real name) found her first job in a media company based in Shanghai. She recently quits the job because she couldn’t stand the considerable work load and elevated pressure.
“I hadn’t decided what my dream job was. Before graduating from university I was looking for a challenging position, but now a stable job with a generous retirement pension seems attractive too.” She finally added that she would like a “nine-to-five position not far from her home that maintains her interest”.
Dandan’s penchant for job-hopping is not unusual among the post-1995 generation. Research conducted by the employment-related social networking site LinkedIn shows that young Chinese employees spend less time in their first position than peers slightly older than them.
Chinese young workers spend considerably less time in their first position than peers slightly older than them.
The research looked at the profiles of 150,000 users and found that workers aged 39-48 stay in their first job for four years, an average that dropped to 3.5 years for those aged 29-38, 19 months for 23-28, and 7 months for those under 23. Internet and finance are the most popular industries for the post-1995 generation, with more than one third of graduates employed in these fields.
Another survey by the China Youth Daily shows that 'naked resignation' is increasingly popular among Chinese young people. 'Naked resignation' means quitting a current job before securing an offer for a new one. The study looked at 1972 employees aged between 18-35, half of whom have considered 'naked resignation' and a quarter have actually done so. More than half of the latter made the risky move out of dissatisfaction with salary and frustration with company practices.
LinkedIn said young jobseekers frequently change jobs because they are more independent, true to their feelings and aimed at realizing their own values. Another reason is that they can easily access career information and opportunities online, which makes job-hopping much easier.
Public opinion is divided on frequent job-hopping. Some Weibo users resonating with the post-1995 generation said one should not waste his life on exhausting positions with low salaries, and it takes courage to change jobs especially when you have a heavy financial burden. Others say it takes time to move a step up the social ladder and thus patience is what counts.
“I’m not a robot.” One comments that he works 12 hours a day for 6 days a week without overtime pay.
“Changing a job is no different to changing a life partner. You ditch it if you don’t like it.”
Many commentators say they cannot afford resignation no matter how frustrated they are with their current job, because they have to earn enough to pay for their mortgage.
Some experts say that the high job-hopping rate reflects the widening gap between university education and the job market. Due to the lack of understanding of an industry, graduates often hold high expectations for their first job and soon become disappointed by the reality.