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More than seven in 10 young people say they are optimistic about their future, according to survey

2023-12-07T07:07:41.121Z

Highlights: More than seven in 10 young people say they are optimistic about their future, according to survey. This barometer carried out for Macif and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation also shows that 61% of young people aged 18-24 surveyed are more in search of meaning and commitment in their work or studies. The stigma of the health crisis and lockdowns, which have plunged many young people into psychological torment, seems to be gradually fading. "We can feel a return of the energy of post-Covid youth," observes Alban Gonord, director of engagement at Macif.


This barometer carried out for Macif and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation also shows that 61% of young people aged 18-24 surveyed say they are more in search of meaning and commitment in their work or studies, and 49% more motivated than before.


Who said that all young people were jaded, disillusioned, suffering? The barometer carried out by BVA for Macif and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation among 1000 French people aged 18 to 24, revealed by Le Figaro, clearly refutes this preconceived idea. It reveals that a large majority of young people (72%) say they are optimistic about their future. That's 10 points more than in the previous edition of the survey last year. In addition, about the same proportion (69%) say that their morale is good (+3 points compared to 2022).

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We can feel a return of the energy of post-Covid youth, observes Alban Gonord, director of engagement at Macif. I read it as a positive way out of a situation that has left young people isolated, anxious, with a sense of abandonment." The stigma of the health crisis and lockdowns, which have plunged many young people into psychological torment, seems to be gradually fading. "I think I've reacclimatised to life quite well, I go out a lot and see my friends often," says Capucine, a 21-year-old student from the Ile-de-France region. However, I know a lot of friends my age who don't go out as much as they used to and tell me that they prefer to stay at home since Covid.

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As a sign of this apparent renewal, 61% of the young people surveyed say they are more in search of meaning and commitment in their work or studies (+5 points compared to 2022), and 49% more motivated than before (+7 points). For 23-year-old Victor, the current challenges, especially ecological ones, are more a reason for action than for paralysis. He works on a work-study basis in Toulouse in aeronautics, a sector at the forefront of criticism of its environmental impact, and believes that "each generation faces its own challenges". "I have no doubt that we will be able to meet them," he said, adding that he "often thinks about the future." "I'm thinking about how I'm going to be able to change this world that is worrying, and in particular the aeronautics sector.

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Read also"It was my dream job, but I quickly became disillusioned": these young executives disappointed by their first job

"Beaver Youth"

However, not everyone is in the same frame of mind. Alexandra, 24, says she is very worried about her future, and that of society in general. "People are becoming more violent, disrespectful, condescending, hateful. I'm more and more scared for myself and my loved ones, and I'm scared to start a family later. Professionally, I'm worried that I'll have to choose a job that pays rather than a job that I enjoy. I'm afraid I won't find any," says the young woman, who is currently in her final year of a master's degree in literature, arts and humanities, saying she is unable to project herself.

The barometer by Macif and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation shows that most young people seem to have difficulty projecting themselves in the long term. Nevertheless, almost half (48%) say they will be able to imagine themselves in the next five years. "This short-termism is also illustrated in the topics of the future that they happen to think about," notes the study. A minority are thinking about the future of their future child(ren) (42%), the wealth they will pass on (35%), their social protection (32%) and their retirement (25%). By far, the most important issue for the future is their savings (64%). "When you start working, you think about saving for a pension," says Océane, a 23-year-old from Niort.

"It's a youth attached to a form of stability, a framework."

Alban Gonord, Director of Engagement at Macif

For Alban Gonord, this emphasis on savings is symptomatic of Generation Z. "It's a youth attached to a form of stability, a framework. You could call it 'cocoon youth' or 'beaver youth', which is full of energy but seeks its own comfort first," says the director of engagement at Macif, who also observes "a distance from work and a refocusing on itself". And also a strong family aspiration. For a third of young people surveyed (32%), a fulfilling family life is the epitome of a successful life, ahead of money and travel.

This search for stability can be found in Generation Z's relationship with work. For example, 18-24 year olds are more likely to say they want to stay with the same company as long as possible (29%) than to change companies several times (20%). "I don't see myself doing the work I've been doing for 10 or 15 years, but I can see myself staying with my company," says Océane, a customer advisor for a large insurance group.

Read alsoFlexible contracts, telecommuting, 4-day week: how companies are trying to seduce young people

More engaged young people?

And yet, in the same survey, we learn that this need for balance is not incompatible with a search for commitment. More than one in two young people (56%) say they feel ready to get involved in at least one organisation in the future - particularly in an association (32%) - 11 points more than in 2022. "There is a contradiction between the behaviours and expectations of young people, who are rather introverted, and their declaration of ideals, where the collective can be mobilised here," says Alban Gonord. Thus, "they expect a lot from the company," he adds. For example, 41% of them consider that the company must be useful to society. This allows us to understand the desire of many young people to change things from within. Like Victor, who calls on his generation to "act within companies", which have "the levers to change things and set up ecological transition projects".

"I don't watch too much news, I want to save my energy to act at my level and change things around me."

Thaïs, 22 years old

But be careful not to fall into generalization. There are many examples of young people who are genuinely committed to action. Omar, a 19-year-old business school student, for example, has already taken the plunge and has a clear vision of the future of his involvement. A three-year member of an association working to promote the schooling of children in remote rural areas of Morocco, the young man says he wants this to eventually "take the form of a political commitment to participate in systemic reform movements" in his native country of Morocco.

For her part, Thaïs, a 22-year-old high-level boxer, who is in the running to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, has created her own association, whose aim is to facilitate access to sport. "I don't watch too much of the news, I want to save my energy to act at my level and change things around me," she says. The young athlete, who is also a sports management student, also has a lot of ideas. Indeed, she says she is already projecting herself into entrepreneurship, "the logical continuation of the association and sport".

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2023-12-07

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