Age is the biggest perceived barrier to opportunity

Australia ranks #17 on the Opportunity Index out of 22 markets that were surveyed globally

Age is the biggest perceived barrier to opportunity

LinkedIn has released findings from the 2020 LinkedIn Opportunity Index, which is a composite measure that seeks to understand how people perceive opportunity and the gaps in achieving those opportunities.

The results found Australia ranks #17 on the Opportunity Index out of 22 markets that were surveyed globally.

Age emerged as the top barrier for Australians when it comes to opportunity in 2020 (25%) followed by financial status (24%) and a difficult jobs market (21%).

The research revealed that Baby Boomers (46%) are significantly more likely to see age as a barrier compared to younger generations - Gen Z (22%), Gen X (31%) and Gen Y (11%). Gen Z respondents also cited not enough work experience as a main barrier to opportunity (31%), as did 17% of Gen-Y. However, just 8% of Gen X and 2% of Boomers called out a lack of work experience. 

Matt Tindale, Country Manager for LinkedIn in Australia & New Zealand, said LinkedIn’s Opportunity Index reveals that the way age impacts job opportunities varies across generations.

“While younger generations feel their age is a reflection of their lack of experience, more mature generations are struggling to adapt their skills for the changing workforce,” said Tindale.

“Professionals are working well beyond their retirement years and we now have four generations working together for the very first time. Embracing Australia’s multigenerational workforce and leveraging this diversity of talent will be imperative in order for businesses to remain successful.”

The opportunities Australians seek varies according to generations. Work-life balance emerged as the most important opportunity for Australians (44%) and it is even more important for Gen X (49%).

Meanwhile, job security and stability emerged as the second most important opportunity for Australian professionals (41%).

Once again, this was even more important among Gen X (46%) but also among Gen Z (44%) indicating concerns about future employability. Gen Z are also more likely to be seeking out jobs that are more rewarding (18%), treat them equally (24%) and give them recognition (34%).

Gen Y emerged as the ‘change makers’, who are more likely to seek out opportunities that offer the ability to change to a new career path.

The majority of Australian’s (84%) believe that working hard is the most important ingredient to getting ahead in life. This is followed by being willing to embrace change (78%), which ranked significantly among Baby Boomers (86%).

Tindale added that three in four Australians (77%) believe having transferable skills is key to getting ahead in their career.

Transferable skills are competencies that can be applied across a range of different settings or roles,” added Tindale.

“This year, as the economic landscape and job market continues to evolve, it will be important that Australians adopt a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning to ensure they are best placed to seek the opportunities they want.”

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