The Return   //   November 8, 2023

Does Gen Z really lack job loyalty?: The Return podcast, season 2, episode 4

The Return is a podcast about returning to the office. In season 3 we explore the reason for the burden on middle managers, why it hasn’t lessened in 50 years, and how this layer of the workforce can finally get the support it needs. More from the series →

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The days of working for one employer for the majority of your life are long gone.

Our relationship with work has slowly evolved over time. Millennials – people aged between 27 and 42 years old – were the first generation to normalize staying at one employer for a shorter period of time. In 2022, 22% of workers aged over 20 years old spent a year or less at their jobs – the highest percentage with a tenure that short since 2006, according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. About 33% spent two years or less in their jobs over the same period.

But Gen Z takes it a step further: they aren’t even dedicated to a single employer at one time.

According to research from marketing data and analytics company Kantar, 40% of Gen Zers report having two or more jobs. That’s a figure that suggests that “quiet quitting” is no more than the need to be at their next job on time.

In episode four of season two of The Return, we talk to two Gen Zers who have opposite beliefs regarding job loyalty. Kyle Lawerence stayed at his first job in the finance industry for 14 months, even though he didn’t enjoy it because he was fully remote and it was hard to make connections. Julie, who preferred to not share her last name, on the other hand, is juggling four to five jobs at any given time – her 9 to 5 and other gigs, like barista, cater waiter, and events coordinator.

Rikki Goldenberg, a career and leadership coach, breaks it down for us in this episode. How does a Gen Zer make the decision to quiet quit? And how does that turn into actual quitting?

Across eight episodes, season two of The Return lifts the lid on what motivates and inspires the youngest generation of workers, and how they’re not as work-shy as they’re often depicted.

Season two of The Return is hosted by Cloey Callahan, a Gen Zer and senior reporter at Digiday Media’s WorkLife, and produced by Digiday Media’s audio producer Sara Patterson. Subscribe to the WorkLife podcast now on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.