The impact of COVID-19 has forced young Australians to take stock of their lives and careers, with more than two-thirds (68 per cent) admitting the pandemic has made them reconsider what they want out of life, and more than half (53 per cent) questioning their career path.
That’s according to the annual in-depth look into young Australians by Junkee Media, which is now in its 10th year. The latest edition, ‘Doom Gloom and Boom’, uncovers the complex journey that young Australians experienced throughout the year.
It found that 26 per cent of respondents said being stuck in a job they didn’t care about was their second greatest fear, narrowly behind being trapped in a lifetime of debt, at 32 per cent.
Neil Ackland, oOh!media’s Chief Content, Marketing and Creative Officer, said the research had once again provided critical insights into Australia’s Millennials and Gen Z – ultimately helping brands to engage more effectively with these demographics.
“The findings have really shown that young Australians are a robust bunch, and have clearly used this year as an opportunity to reset, review, and reflect on their lives and what matters most,” he said.
“This demographic is one of the hardest hit by COVID, yet they’re thinking wisely and staying happy, remaining resilient and positive for the future despite everything that’s been thrown at them.
“Brands should take note of this change in perspective, and explore three key areas – personalisation, possession and progression.
“Personalisation is all about tailored approaches to suit different audiences within these age groups, while possession looks at young Australians’ evolving relationships with the tangible, and how typical experiential milestones might have been replaced by more grounded ambitions due to the pandemic.
“On a wider scale, progression considers how brands can find new opportunities to build relationships and partner with people as they rethink their lives and careers, chasing the elusive blend of purpose, passion and high pay.”
Other key findings include:
- Almost all (94 per cent) of respondents said having a job they were passionate about was their most important marker of success.
- Away from careers, in a challenging year there was a surprise in happiness levels, with 47 per cent of respondents saying they felt slightly happy and almost a fifth (19 per cent) feeling extremely happy.
- In contrast, only four per cent said they felt extremely unhappy, and just 14 per cent said they were slightly unhappy.
- More than half (55 per cent) of respondents said they expected to feel the impacts of COVID for one to three years.
- Exactly half believed that young Australians were unfairly represented in the media during COVID.
Using a combination of in-house research and a partnership with Pollinate, results of the 2020 Junkee Study were based on a series of three surveys taken in February, April and September, with over 5,500+ young Australians aged 16 to 35 surveyed in total, including Gen Z (approx 16 to 24) and Gen Y / Millennials (approx 25 to 35).
The Junkee Media ‘Doom Gloom and Boom’ report can be accessed here: junkeemedia.com/research
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