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Kiwis no longer want to climb the career ladder, survey reveals

The top of the Kiwi career ladder is looking a bit lonesome as fewer workers are interested in becoming the big boss, a recent survey by Frog Recruitment reveals.

In a survey of 1035 New Zealand workers, only one in five Gen Z and millennial workers are willing to make the climb up the career ladder.

The survey by Frog Recruitment looked into primary work motivation and whether the participants were happy to level up in their career.

Around 18 percent of those between the ages of 20 to 35 state they are putting their career ambitions first.

Between the ages of 35 to 50, 80 percent say they are happy not to be career climbers despite being “only midway through their working lives”.

“People can become ‘competent complacent’ in their job. They may have been in their role for a long time and are very good at it, but they may be stale in their work and have stopped exploring new ways of achieving outcomes because they feel they have done it all before. They are settled into the status quo,” says Frog Recruitment Managing Director Shannon Barlow.

But reluctance to progress can create workforce issues, she says.

“Less experienced team members are blocked from moving up the ladder into the roles occupied by the Competent Complacent, which can drive them to look outside their organisation for a better role or make a move across the ditch to Australia,” adds Barlow.

Read more: Workers across the globe ditch the career ladder for work life balance

Eighty percent of 20 to 35-year-old workers care more about work perks and not the ladder.

Many people in this age bracket say that climbing the ladder comes with more burden, more work stress, competition, overtime, and pushing beyond the comfort zone.

“The last decade has shown us that achieving a healthy work-life balance will reduce burnout and improve the productivity of our workforce. Employers have never been more tuned in to offering work flexibility to achieve these better mental health outcomes for their people,” says Barlow.

But it is not just young people; 90 percent of workers over the age of 50 admit career climbing is not their primary work motivation.

This is in comparison to the 87 percent of 35 to 50-year-olds and the 82 percent of 20 to 35-year-olds who are on the same boat.

“Most people are very satisfied knowing they’re doing a great job, and many don’t aspire to be managers or to join the C-suite,” she says.

“A high-performing team includes different people with different perspectives, personalities and personal aspirations. Recognising work satisfaction means different things to different people is the strength of a successful team.”

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