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At work, young graduates are asking for more flexibility and a real ecological commitment


The image had caused a shock wave: AgroParis Tech students encouraging their comrades to “branch” during their graduation ceremony in June 2022. Almost a year later, the Edhec NewGen Talent Center publishes a study on the relationship to work of young graduates from the Grandes Ecoles. Finding a better balance between professional and personal life, occupying a position that is remunerated at its fair value and that makes sense… The aspirations of newcomers to the job market are no longer the same as those of their elders. The survey, published in early April and carried out between October and November 2022, was conducted among more than 2,000 young workers from sixteen Grandes Ecoles, including HEC, Edhec, Sciences Po, PSL, etc.

Among the former students questioned, 85% of them believe that wage employment is the ideal status for a career start. Synonymous with stability, it ensures economic balance, “the time to build skills and develop a network”, says a participant quoted by the survey. Next to them, 8% prefer the status of entrepreneur, a proportion that has been on the rise since the creation of the status. “It’s eight times more than before”, says Manuelle Malot, director of the Edhec center of expertise and head of the study. Respondents also attach great importance to the flexibility of their working hours (31%) and some favor the four-day week (26%), even if few benefit from it (6%).

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Demanding or deserters? The new generation no longer wants to live to work. “The work must serve a more philosophical ambitionexplains Manuelle Malot. And make it possible to reconcile three lives: professional, social and family. » In the office, young graduates hope first to acquire skills and develop personally (33%), before making a useful contribution to society (31%) or receiving high incomes (9%).

A minority of “forks”

For study participants, a company’s raison d’être is a strong driver of attraction (71%) and commitment to work (67%). “The firm is responsible for social and environmental issues, but also spearheads the resolution of these issues”, emphasizes Manuelle Malot. The new generations expect a lot from their employers. And especially on the environmental level: for one out of two respondents, it is the most awaited transformation of the company. Ahead of governance ethics (29%) and social impact (19%). A preoccupation “probably accentuated by dramatic climatic events” of summer 2022.

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