Gen Z workers say they get better career advice from ChatGPT

A career coach, your boss, that colleague who has changed jobs a ton of times: these might be your first port of call when you think about someone to give you great career advice. But younger workers are mixing things up when it comes to where they get their counsel.

That’s not too surprising. Gen Z currently accounts for about two billion of the world’s population, will form 27% of the workforce by next year, and what they want from work is markedly different from what their older colleagues do.

From the 49% who say their job is central to their sense of identity, younger workers value work-life balance, remote working and flexible leave as their top priorities when looking for a job.

What also sets them apart is they are far quicker to jettison a job if it’s not suiting their needs; in fact a survey of U.S. students found that they could change jobs up to 10 times between the ages of 18 and 34.

That’s not all: this cohort of workers is values-led, and wants to work for companies where diversity and inclusion are priorities. Value matching matters too, with 55% researching a company’s environmental impact and policies before taking a job offer, with another 17% changing jobs or sectors due to climate concerns.

Traditional career advice is out

Given all that, it is hardly surprising that Gen Z isn’t too keen on traditional career advice routes too. According to a study from Workplace Intelligence and INTOO, some of this is because they’re simply not getting support in work, with one in five employees saying they never have career conversations with their manager.

Sixty-three percent feel their employer prioritizes productivity over career development, and three quarters say that they’ve received bad career advice — with many saying this came from their own manager.

Their solution? ChatGPT. Open AI’s generative AI platform has seen colossal adoption since its November 2022 launch, and 47% of Gen Z workers say they get better advice from the chatbot than their manager.

That’s a problem, because while ChatGPT can be helpful for a range of work-related tasks such as helping you personalize resumes for job applications, its data may be out of date or not relevant to the questions younger workers are asking. The free version, ChatGPT 3.5, is only trained with data up until January 2022, while the paid subscription version, ChatGPT 4, has information up to April 2023.

But that’s still a year out of date, and if you ask if it can provide advice, it will reply, “For career-related advice and decisions, it’s often best to consult multiple sources, including experts in the field, career counselors, and trusted websites or publications. Additionally, considering your own unique circumstances, goals and preferences is crucial in making informed decisions about your career path.”

That in itself is good advice, but for the 53% of the workers surveyed in Workplace Intelligence and INTOO’s survey who say their manager is just too busy to talk to them about their career, it’s not much help.

If you’re struggling with a lack of clear career progression and goal-setting and help is not forthcoming, a move to a company where your professional development will be supported could be a great idea.

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