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44% of Gen X want to pursue public sector jobs, reveals GatenbySanderson

Research released today by GatenbySanderson has found that 44% of workers from Generation X want to pursue jobs in the charity or public sector to contribute positively to the community.

Born between the late 1960s and late 1970s, Generation X follows from the baby-boomers and precedes the millennials. They grew up through rapid political change and technological innovation and are typically characterised as hard working, independent, socially conscious and technologically savvy.

These attributes will put the country in good stead as Generation X assumes key leadership roles to help Britain’s vital public services overcome significant challenges such as increasing demand, shrinking budgets and rapid political and social change.

Almost half (45%) of the 2,000 Generation X workers surveyed said they want to make sure they leave the country in a positive state for future generations and their children. A third (33%) said they would like to do something more fulfilling and give back to the community outside of work. Despite being the natural successors to the existing group of leaders, 43% of Generation X worry that their age limits further career progression. A similar percentage (41%) were happy with their career prospects.

The increase of the national pension age and financial concerns remain a significant motivator for this group. According to the research, the average Generation X worker aims to retire by 62, but their pension age is 67. More than four out of five (83%) said financial considerations are a strong factor for what age they will retire, and 54% have been forced to change their retirement plans following the increase of the national pension age and financial crisis of 2008. Almost seven in 10 (69%) worry about increased demand on public services and how it will impact them.

Martin Tucker, chief executive of GatenbySanderson, commented, “It’s no secret the public sector is facing significant challenges to deliver vital services to a population that is changing rapidly and at a time when budgets are being cut. A new breed of leader is required to oversee change to overcome these challenges. Generation X brings a new perspective, life philosophy and skillset to senior roles, which is exactly what the sector needs.”

Mark Chamberlain was a former director at a major UK communications and IT company, before leaving to become a non-executive director (NED) at Leeds Teaching Hospital. He added, “I’d always wanted to be involved in my community, especially with my local hospital. After more than 25 years in the private sector, I decided I could use my business experience in a useful way and do good for the community at the same time.

“Often, people in the private sector look at public sector roles and think that they don’t have the background needed to take them on. That is the wrong way to think about it. Private sector experience can be invaluable, as public sector organisations crave fresh perspectives and new skills.

“In my experience, public sector organisations have been much more forward-thinking than I originally expected. Being part of one truly opens your eyes to a new way of working – it’s all about being innovative to work within the necessary parameters. Now, I work with other NEDs who also have private sector backgrounds, each bringing new insights and attributes to the team. It makes it a creative and rewarding environment to work in. There is no doubt about it, working in the public sector and seeing the changes and improvements in the community is very fulfilling.”

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