By Tariq Chauhan, Group CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group
I am seeing a worrying trend with young professionals dealing with financial stress at the workplace. What is baffling is that very random these are a result of genuine financial needs but more because of their overindulgence in excessive lifestyle spending, living beyond means. In the early stages of their careers, they start clamoring for too many materialist things. Their wish list involves a lot of must lifestyle elements. The issue with material things like houses, cars, holidays, gadgets, etc, is too much overindulgence. This brings tremendous pressure on individual mindsets, taking away the requisite engagement in the career and the job itself, taking away their necessary concentration on career elements impacting their long-term development. I see this issue in most of my interviews that these young people tend to navigate their preferences in the job based on very materialistic options than the job contents itself.
Early careers at the workplace require a little more focus and time on work than losing minds on managing extra lifestyle requisites. Although I am seeing some change in this aspect, especially in young professionals, these, too, are still unsure of priorities. I see their obsession with work-life balance preferences, unable to zero in on the needed priorities.
My honest contention in this context is that the wish list must be mapped with stages of their career, professional and personality development, as each of these acquisitions comes with specific responsibility and related cost that needs to be managed. For instance, buying a house or a car is a decision that needs financial soundness. I believe the ability to make such decisions as buying a house or marriage needs specific mental and personality preparedness, so making such early decisions besides financial capability requires time. Especially in the early stages of your career, EMI-related stress can be detrimental to managing current job needs and any future opportunities to get into the cloud. Such obligations often overwhelm young people and hold them to ransom. I often see these young professionals lost in managing these critical elements restricting their capability to excel and concentrate on their work.
I do not mean that these must be ignored, but such basics need to be aligned to multiple essentials: income, time, and the mental ability to deal with its needs. For example, owning a house may bind you from your mobility as moving to another place may not be feasible, as related financial math may not work. In the context of marriage, besides the ability to manage a combined hold, it is also time, and an independent mindset from career worries might have a toll on it. It is, therefore, critical that it is looked at in a phased manner, especially for those with financial tags in line with career progression and milestones.
Even in routine lifestyle costs, youngsters must carefully plan as financial stress can be fateful. I do not recommend that these cut on basics or follow minimalism, but these must ensure affordability. Many might wonder that in this opinion piece, I am stereotyping young ones; no, I am not, but I do see many of my young colleagues stung by this bug. dealing with high-stress levels, which should not be the case considering the early stages of their career. These need time to plan, invest and concentrate on job requirements whilst ensuring a good state of mind to manage their work-life balances.
I am against extremes, as we used to see earlier with our parents, possessive approach to the future security and financial stability. That was indeed not right, as these used to compromise their self-actualization.
How often do we see these young professionals dealing with exponential stress levels? Whilst work does have its challenges and does have its stress levels, financial burdens are often fatal. Most researchers point to this aspect as a major spoiler in the workplace. If stress factor at the workplace needs to be neutralized or reduced for young professionals, then, of course, lifestyle preferences need to be managed.
Source: Gulf News