Written by Stella H. Kim
Published September 21, 2023
Making Ends Meet · Pursuing Skills Development · Rebuilding Self-Identity
Following the “Eager Entrepreneurs,” “Refined Reskillers,” “Introspective Idealists,” “Principled Partners,” and “Observant Opportunists,” the last and sixth MZ Generation Career Category is the “Job Jugglers.”
These are the MZ Generation employees who value stability and productivity. When asked if they are open to considering a new job opportunity, many from this category respond by first asking about employment restrictions about moonlighting or working additional jobs, or if the employer has a 4-day work week.
Polyworking is the practice of working multiple jobs instead of focusing on just one source of income. According to a 2023 Paychex survey, 46% of the MZ Generation hold down two jobs while 47% hold down three or more jobs, meaning a striking total of 93% of the MZ Generation are polyworkers.
Why do the MZ Generation polywork, and how can we help them stay focused and fully dedicated to their main job?
Understanding why they polywork can allow us to identify appropriate action items to better engage them. The first reason they juggle jobs is to simply make ends meet. Many MZ Generation report that, without a side-hustle as a restaurant server, delivery driver, or taxi driver, they would have no choice but to relocate to another state with lower cost of living (42%), move in to live with their parents (34%), delay making credit card payments (22%), and even sell their cars (17%).
As discussed in our prior column, the MZ Generation actively assess their market value and seek equitable reward for their work. To ensure financial stability, they would take on the highest-paying jobs, and eventually move to different companies that offer even more competitive packages. Therefore, organizations must keep an ongoing pulse on market salary data to ensure their employees are earning a livable salary and give appropriate increases based on performance and market rate changes. Many MZ Generation would be happy to stay in their current jobs and not juggle multiple side gigs if they can make a decent salary.
Next, many polyworkers also take on multiple job opportunities for greater skills development. They proactively invest their personal time to enhance their skills, and make use of their spare time to study for certifications that will help increase their market value. They are strategically building their personal brands by taking on opportunities as a startup advisor, consultant, translator, athletic coach, nutritionist, or lecturer. The unique experiences and professional network gained from these side jobs thus positively impact their performance in their main jobs.
As a result, many companies allow side jobs as long as they do not cause any conflict of interest, and even require passion project assignments to help create greater synergy within the team. Just like Google’s “20% Project” and 3M’s “15% Time,” if companies allow employees to work on creative projects during corporate work hours, then such innovative ideas and positive energy that would be otherwise be used outside of work can be channeled inwards, thereby further maximizing everyone’s productivity and resulting in mutual growth for all parties.
Lastly, many MZ Generation look to rebuild self-identity to escape the monotonous modern society and busy work life schedules. By enjoying hobbies and creating content through YouTube videos, blog writing, and music production, the MZ Generation are not only able to freely express themselves and rediscover their personal voices, but also earn extra income. The feeling of satisfaction and productivity will allow them to prevent burnout and even bring positive energy and efficiency to their main work.
To actively attract and retain the Job Jugglers, we strongly recommend loosening employment restrictions to allow side jobs, supporting skills development to instill a greater sense of loyalty to the company, and building a flexible work environment that can drive greater long-term engagement and commitment for all.
Stella H. Kim, SPHR
HRCap - Chief Marketing Officer & Global VP
Original Source: [전문가 칼럼] 6가지 MZ세대 커리어 유형: (6) '생산적인 N잡러'
Source: HRCap, The Korea Daily, JoongAng Ilbo