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Young workers are reluctant to share news of a job loss: study

Although they are just entering the job market, Gen Z workers are afraid of losing their jobs and, above all, of having to share the news with others

Published: Mar 10, 2023 03:06:02 PM IST
Updated: Mar 10, 2023 03:10:56 PM IST

Young workers are reluctant to share news of a job loss: studyContrary to what might be expected, 18-to-24-year-olds are much less open than their elders about their experiences with layoffs. Image: Shutterstock

Being laid off from a job is a taboo subject for many people, and especially for Generation Z, it seems. Although they are just entering the job market, these young workers are afraid of losing their jobs and, above all, of having to share the news with others.

The job search site ZipRecruiter surveyed 2,000 people who had recently lost their jobs about their views on layoffs, and shared the results of its survey with the Fast Company business media website. The majority of respondents (83%) spoke openly about their dismissal with their family, while two-thirds told their friends.

But people were much more reluctant to announce the news on social networks: only 11% of respondents did so when they learned that they were being let go by their company. This phenomenon is all the more surprising given that, in today's ultra-connected society, internet users have become accustomed to sharing their slightest successes and grievances on TikTok, Instagram and the likes. However, it seems that getting fired is one of the few experiences that it's not good form to make public knowledge.

Contrary to what might be expected, 18-to-24-year-olds are much less open than their elders about their experiences with layoffs. They are less likely to talk about a job loss with their family and friends than professionals who have been working for years. The economic environment certainly has a lot to do with this. Gen Zers are entering the workforce in a tense labor market. As a result, they may see their layoff as a potential brake on their career, not as a step that could open up new career opportunities.

Also read: Will the layoff spree continue in 2023?

This pessimism explains why nearly a third of young people aged 18 to 24 believe that recruiters are reluctant to hire employees who have already been dismissed. It's not surprising, then, that only 14% of them report discussing the subject with future employers (compared to 20% of respondents overall).

Talking about a layoff is never easy, especially during the recruitment process. It may be tempting to lie or dodge the question for fear of judgment, but this approach will only stir up the employer's curiosity and perhaps even distrust. It is better to be frank and open about the subject—even if it requires some advance preparation.