Value work-life balance

CEMS annual event 2018. Photo: CEMS
Young business graduates rank the opportunity for a good work-life balance and flexible hours almost as important as salary when they are applying for jobs, shows a global survey conducted by CEMS. The picture is from the CEMS Annual Event in December 2018. Photo: CEMS

25 January 2019 14:50

Value work-life balance

Opportunities for work life balance, quick career progression and the chance for early stage impact are crucial factors for young professionals seeking a new role in 2019, a global CEMS survey finds.

Young business graduates rank the opportunity for a good work-life balance and flexible hours almost as important as salary when they are applying for jobs, shows a global survey conducted by CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education.

Opportunities for a quick career progression and the chance to make an impact early on are the third and fourth highest ranked key criteria when making the decision to apply for a job.

The survey had 761 participants from 49 countries around the world. A quarter of the respondents, the majority in their early twenties, expects new graduates to reach an executive level role in five years or less, with 75 per cent expecting new graduates to have achieved this level within 10 years.

When asked what skills they believe to be most important as technology increases its foothold in the workplace, graduates ranked social skills e.g. persuasion, emotional intelligence and empathy as most important followed by people management skills.

“These ambitious young professionals are creative and optimistic, always seeing an opportunity in change. They crave quick career progression and the chance to make a genuine impact at an early stage. Importantly, our research adds weight to the idea that for this generation, work is not all about money - achieving a good work/life balance is more important than ever,” says Roland Siegers, Executive Director of CEMS.

 “It is important that organisations listen and act on the insights of the next generation if they hope to benefit from their ambition and gain competitive advantage in an uncertain age. This means giving young people plenty of opportunity to tackle projects that deliver real global impact as early as possible on their career journey, whilst also recognising their need to have a life outside of work.”

“We already see this in action through our forward-thinking CEMS corporate partners, who recognise the benefit of working with young people on real-life, global business projects even before they reach the workplace, to make sure they can hit the ground running,” Siegers adds. 

Real life business projects

Since 2016, CEMS has teamed up with ABB to have students execute multiple complex consulting projects across the globe, which have real business results.

Commenting on the value of Business Projects ABB’s Head of Talent Management, Audrey Clegg said, “Students have the opportunity to work on real business challenges. They evaluate decisions and plan sought solutions based on real data. The exchange of ideas between the students and business people opens the door to different approaches to problem solving. Students see how diversity strengthens performance, they build networks and they learn how to learn. As the pace of change continues to accelerate, those are the foundations for success as a business leader.”

Miriam Jarrouj worked on the ABB/CEMS business project at St. Gallen and subsequently secured a role at ABB after graduating in 2017.

“Although the salary plays a part, I have always been motivated to do something with impact, where my contribution can bring a change – even though I have learned that being patient and strategical with that change is also crucial.”

“Being able to gain global experience, being constantly exposed to new challenges and look more for work / life balance (particularly as I now have a bit more corporate experience) is also really important to me. Finally, the chance to be surrounded by a great team also determined the final job choice I made, as you can learn and grow a lot by having a good mentor and a strong team.”