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The top priorities of young professionals when they take on a new role are salary and work-life balance, followed by career progression and the chance to make an impact at an early stage, according to recent Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS) graduates in 49 countries. Travel opportunities and inspirational leadership round out the top six priorities for business graduates when seeking a new job. A quarter of respondents expect to reach an executive level role in five years or less, while 75 percent expect to have achieved this level within 10 years. “They crave quick career progression and the chance to make a genuine impact at an early stage. Importantly, our research adds weight to the idea that for this generation, work is not all about money – achieving a good work/life balance is more important than ever. It is important that organizations listen and act on the insights of the next generation if they hope to benefit from their ambition and gain a competitive advantage in an uncertain age,” says Roland Siegers, executive director of CEMS. “This means giving young people plenty of opportunities to tackle projects that deliver real global impact as early as possible in their career journey, while also recognising their need to have a life outside of work.” To increase their foothold in the workplace, respondents consider social skills (persuasion, emotional intelligence and empathy) as the most important, followed by people management skills (team leadership and motivation). Hard skills such as formal qualifications, data analysis or cognitive abilities are considered relatively trivial compared with soft skills.

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