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They are also experiencing burnout at least once a week
We all know that employee burnout is on the rise, but it's not being spread out equally among the generations: a report from November found that while only 38% of Baby Boomers said they were burned out, and 57% of Gen X, that jumped to 69% of Millennials, and 71% of Gen Z workers.
To better understand those early career professionals, a recent survey from The Mary Christie Institute, in partnership with the Healthy Minds Network, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, (AAC&U) and the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), talked to graduates between the ages of 22 and 28 about their mental and emotional health.
What they found was that more than half of young professionals report big challenges and a lot of burnout.
In total, 51%, of the 1,005 adults between the ages of 22 and 28, who have at least a Bachelor’s degree, reported needing help for emotional or mental health problems in the past year, including 43% who screened positive for anxiety and 31% for depression, while 62% have received mental health services in their lifetime.
It was worse for women than for men, with 59% of women having needed help for a mental health condition in the last year, compared to 40% of men. Meanwhile, 68% of males self-reported good or excellent mental health, only 45% of females said the same, while 55% of women rated their mental health as fair or poor compared to 31% of males.
In terms of race, 60% of Black and 63% of Asian American respondents said they have good or excellent mental health, compared to 52% of White and 49% of Hispanic respondents.
However, the picture is not all so rosy, as 50% of Black respondents said they were likely to feel part of the work community, while 68% of white respondents said the same, and Black respondents were also less likely to say they have colleagues who would support them if struggling compared to their white counterparts, 52% vs 73%.
All of this is contributing to increased burnout among Gen Z: 53% of young professionals reported that they feel burnout at least once per week; in this case, burnout was defined as “a state of prolonged physical and psychological exhaustion, which is perceived as related to the person’s work.”
Once again, it is affecting women more than men, 56% versus 49%, as well as people who say they have more financial stress, 64% of whom reported feeling burnout weekly, compared to 44% of those with low financial stress.
One mitigating factor seems to be those who work from home, even though those people don't seem to feel: remote workers were more likely to rate their mental health as worse compared to in-person workers, but were less likely to experience weekly burnout, with only 47% reporting this versus 56% of in-person workers.
Of course, the more burned out the worker is, the more they want to leave their job: 42% of the young professionals who reported experiencing burnout weekly or more said they plan to leave their job in the next 12 months, higher than the 32% of young professionals overall who said they plan to leave their job within the year.
Interestingly, despite all of these problems, 75% said that they are optimistic about their future, and 72% said that they “lead a purposeful and meaningful life.”
"We believe understanding more about the emotional and mental wellbeing of the 'Gen Z' workforce can serve to create a bridge between higher education and industry regard and may help to address the mental health problems that are defining this generation," The Mary Christie Institute wrote.
(Image source: pennmedicine.org)
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