By Daniel Hunter

A recent Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) survey shows an ambitious global generation aiming for professional success on their own terms.

The global survey of more than 4,300 Gen Y finance professionals, representing a selection of countries including the UK, China, and South Africa reveals:

· 34% hope to be in a senior management role by their mid-30s, with 17% aspiring to be their own boss
· 67% would choose working for an employer that shares their values over one which offers a high financial reward
· Over 36% of those seeking employment (excluding self employment) in the next 2 years will prioritise opportunities abroad over those in their home countries
· 60% believe a major corporate or multinational corporation will provide the fastest career progression

Of those surveyed, whose average age was 27, 34% hope to become senior managers by the time they are 35, with 12% expecting to have their own business by the age of 33 or younger. Of those looking to become self-employed, their objective was to earn between £71,040 and £87,040 on average.

Respondents said they prioritised working for employers who shared their values and were a good fit with their lifestyle over those who could offer a high financial reward.

Meanwhile 36% of respondents looking for a new job in the next two years intended to seek new opportunities abroad. The most popular destination being the UK, closely followed by the US, Australia, Canada and UAE. The primary reason given for the change in location was the opportunity to experience a different culture, closely followed by a better work/life balance rather than to increase their salary.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Managing Director, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) said: “The CIMA survey shows an aspirational generation keen to climb the corporate ladder on their own terms. With the challenge of youth unemployment, it is encouraging to see tomorrow’s generation aiming high and open to new experiences while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

“In this volatile climate, the value added by talented and ambitious people allows businesses to be competitive and resilient. Business leaders must match the aspirations of Gen Y by developing skills and providing satisfying jobs to seize this opportunity.”

The survey also revealed that of those aiming to work for a company, the majority (60%) were pinning their hopes on a major corporate or multinational corporation (MNCs), believing they would provide the fastest progression route for their career. In addition to the increased work promotions and prospects offered by MNCs, respondents’ open responses indicated they were attracted by their CSR values and company missions.

CIMA is qualifying the next generation of business and finance leaders. The research looked into the aspirations of finance professionals in their 20s and 30s and how organisations can prepare for their employees of the future.

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