Young UK finance professionals seek rapid career progression

Young finance professionals are motivated by career progression and job mobility when looking for work, a new study finds.

Young finance professionals have their eye on a career promotion or a jump to a new job within the next two years, finds a global survey from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Called Generation Next, the survey examined the career aspirations of the younger generation in finance today.

Polling over 2,000 professionals in the UK under the age of 36, the report reveals almost three quarters (71 per cent) of respondents are looking to move jobs in the next two years, with 73 per cent looking for a promotion.

Despite a desire to progress, the majority of respondents (73 per cent) say they have great working relationships with their manager, and with team colleagues at 80 per cent. But many seek a clearer path of career progression, 39 per cent say there are no transparent career paths in their current organisations, and more than half (55 per cent) that there is not enough capacity or not enough roles available for the next move.

John Williams, head of ACCA UK, says, ‘Generation next is ‘generation now’ when it comes to mobility. There is no doubt that the ‘job for life’ is less prevalent within the modern world and employers who don’t deliver on their high expectations risk haemorrhaging their best talent to competitors, both at home and abroad.

‘If employers want to keep hold of their talent, then they need to ensure career planning packages are available, from learning and development to talent spotting initiatives.’

Respondents indicate that they were more likely to stay with an employer if they offered the opportunity to learn and develop skills (88 per cent), career progression opportunities (88 per cent) and a competitive financial remuneration package (87 per cent). In the UK, the availability of international opportunities was the least important factor, rating not at all important to almost half (44 per cent) of respondents.

Williams adds, ‘While young professionals are happy to job hop here in the UK, they are far less likely to seek international experience than their counterparts in other regions.’

For ACCA UK, the findings reflect not only a fundamental shift in attitude, but also the growing significance of finance professionals at the highest levels of business.

Williams concludes, ‘Here in the UK and around the world, accountants and finance professionals are playing an increasingly important role in business success: not just in the traditional functions of reporting and audit, but also as strategic counsel and business advisers. It’s no wonder that those equipped with such an in-demand skill set should see the possibilities of applying their experience in the most senior positions.’

Further reading on retaining staff

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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