The impact of COVID-19 has forced young Australians to take stock of their lives and careers, with more than two-thirds (68%) admitting the pandemic has made them reconsider what they want out of life, according to a new report by Junkee Media.

The report found that more than half (53%) are questioning their career path, with 26% of respondents said being stuck in a job they didn’t care about was their second greatest fear, narrowly behind being trapped in a lifetime of debt, at 32%.

Other key findings include:

  • Almost all (94%) of respondents said having a job they were passionate about was their most important marker of success.
  • Away from careers, in a challenging year there was a surprise in happiness levels, with 47% of respondents saying they felt slightly happy and almost a fifth (19%) feeling extremely happy.
  • In contrast, only 4% said they felt extremely unhappy, and just 14% said they were slightly unhappy.
  • More than half (55%) of respondents said they expected to feel the impacts of COVID for one to three years.
  • Exactly half believed that young Australians were unfairly represented in the media during COVID.

Neil Ackland, oOh!media’s chief content, marketing and creative officer, said the findings have shown that young Australians are “a robust bunch”, and have clearly used this year as an opportunity to reset, review, and reflect on their lives and what matters most.

“This demographic is one of the hardest hit by COVID, yet they’re thinking wisely and staying happy, remaining resilient and positive for the future despite everything that’s been thrown at them,” he added.

Ackland believes brands should take note of this change in perspective, and explore three key areas – personalisation, possession and progression.

“Personalisation is all about tailored approaches to suit different audiences within these age groups, while possession looks at young Australians’ evolving relationships with the tangible, and how typical experiential milestones might have been replaced by more grounded ambitions due to the pandemic,” he said. “On a wider scale, progression considers how brands can find new opportunities to build relationships and partner with people as they rethink their lives and careers, chasing the elusive blend of purpose, passion and high pay.”

Using a combination of in-house research and a partnership with Pollinate, the ‘Doom Gloom and Boom’ research report was based on a series of three surveys taken in February, April and September, with more than 5,500 young Australians aged 16 to 35 surveyed in total, including Gen Z (16 to 24) and Gen Y / Millennials (25 to 35).

Sourced from oOh!media, Junkee Media