Baby Boomers Take Biggest Career Risks

by David Mielach

If you think that baby boomers are just looking to reach retirement, you may want to think again. New research has found that baby boomers are more entrepreneurial and take more risks than younger counterparts at work.

Forty-three percent of baby boomers described themselves as high risk in a recent survey, compared with just 28% of Generation Y respondents and 40% of Generation X. In the survey, people between ages 18 and 29 were considered Gen Y, people between ages 30 and 49 were considered Gen X, and people between ages 50 and 69 were considered baby boomers.

Researchers say that Gen Y workers may be less willing to take risks because they see their jobs as temporary.  Fifty-five percent of Gen Y respondents say their job is only a step in their career while just 26% say they will stay at their job for a long time.

Not only were boomers more likely to take risks, but they were also more likely to consider themselves to be entrepreneurial.  Forty-five percent of boomers called themselves entrepreneurial, compared with 32% of Gen Y and 41% of Gen Xers.

“This survey revealed that the entrepreneurial spirit resides in all of us and across all generations of workers,” said Jeffrey Quinn, vice president of Global Monster Insights, which conducted the research. “Whether it’s a direct result of the current economy, or a person’s independent drive, we are seeing more and more people across generations starting their own businesses as alternatives to traditional jobs or careers. Employer-retention strategies could benefit from creating environments that encourage entrepreneurial culture and opportunities for workers.”

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