• Some Gen Zers are focusing on a company’s mission and job security during their job searches.
  • But prioritizing these factors while ignoring salary data could have financial consequences.
  • As a recession looms, Gen Zers might want to consider their financial futures when applying for their next role.

As Gen Z advances in the workforce, they’re prioritizing a particular set of job preferences. But ignoring a salary floor to meet these wishes might affect their financial futures.

The youngest class of workers has expectations of a diverse work environment, flexible schedules, and careers built on passion. They’re also prioritizing a company’s mission, aligned values, and wellness benefits more than any older generations.

“A lot of Gen Zers feel more drawn by the mission of a company and what their goal is as opposed to things like salary,” Michael Yan, founder of job search platform Simplify, previously told Insider.

Many are also valuing job security in response to high-profile layoffs they’ve seen at companies like Meta, Twitter, and CNN. In a Handshake survey conducted in June, 74% of respondents said they were prioritizing job stability in their search.

“Lately, with a lot of people being let go from their jobs, it’s opened my eyes to look for a job where I can feel more stable,” Giana Gaitan-Naranjo, 21, a senior at San Francisco State University, told The New York Times.

However, if these priorities lead Gen Zers to turn down high-paying jobs, some could be missing out on the chance to build a financial cushion as a potential recession looms and save for expenses in the future.

Gen Z's ongoing fight for equality, diversity, and sustainability are important goals for the future of work and life. But it's also necessary for them to bolster their financial position in an uncertain economy.

The job landscape isn't as bad as it seems

At the start of 2022, only a quarter of Gen Z reported comfortably covering their monthly living expenses, while 46% said they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a Deloitte survey conducted among 23,220 Generation Z and millennial respondents from 46 countries between November 2021 and January 2022.

Additionally, over half of Gen Z could enter retirement without sufficient savings due to savings challenges and rising costs, Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff previously told Insider.

But while prioritizing job security might sound like a wise decision in the wake of the recent economic fallouts, it might not be as pressing of an issue as many think.

That's because, despite the substantial number of tech and media layoffs, the US unemployment rate was unchanged in November and remains near a 50-year low. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is only projecting unemployment to tick up from 3.7% in 2022 to 4.4% next year, suggesting the vast majority of young Americans won't fall victim to layoffs.

What's more, if a Gen Zer does lose their job, there's reason to believe there will be significant demand for workers not only next year, but in the years ahead.

"It's increasingly likely that the United States will face long-term hiring challenges due to aging demographics and slower immigration in recent years," Glassdoor's chief economist Aaron Terrazas previously told Insider.

Stability doesn't always net lucrative salaries

Remaining too long in a stable role can result in opting out of job-hopping, which can garner salary bumps. As of October, job switchers saw wage gains of 7.3% over the prior 12 months, compared to 5.3% for those that remained in the same job, according to the Atlanta Fed's Wage Growth Tracker.

Those raises are key for workers who are just starting out and, oftentimes, earning lower salaries than their older peers. In fact, the typical annual salary for Gen Z employees was $32,500 in 2021, according to research from the personal finance site GoBankingRates.

To be sure, plenty of Gen Zers understand the financial pressures to come and are prioritizing salary in their job search. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed by Handshake, listed a high starting salary as a top job search priority, the same percentage that said they valued job stability.

Those looking for new roles right now should weigh the tradeoffs of their priorities when applying for their next job.

Read the original article on Business Insider