58% of Parents Can’t Describe What Their Adult Children Do For a Living

58% of parents can't describe what their adult children do for a living

There are many signs of a changing labour market around us: UK unemployment is at its lowest rate in seven years and 75 per cent of adults in or looking to enter the labour force say they are actively looking or open to a new job.

And the types of jobs people are searching for are rapidly changing, too.

Much of this transformation has taken place in the tech industry, which accounts for 7 per cent of all jobs advertised in the UK. In fact, job titles and descriptions have changed so drastically that 58 per cent of parents are unable to describe what their adult children do for a living.

While one might think the older generation would represent a portion of the growing digital field, technology barely scrapes the top 10 list of industries where said parents are employed—retail, education and healthcare are the top three. In the not-too-distant past, professions were handed down from one generation to the next. Today, by contrast, children are adapting to seize opportunities that didn’t exist for their parents.

But the changing labour market hasn’t only driven people apart. There are some key commonalities between how different generations think about their careers. For one, there is a rising interest in flexible work from both ends of the age spectrum. Indeed search data revealed that the term “remote” received an 85 percent search increase since 2013. In the UK, 41 percent of people say that flexible hours would attract them to a job offer.

Young people may be in search of flexibility to find better work-life balance, something that matters a great deal for their parents as well. For those on the verge of retirement, working a slightly less demanding schedule can be a way to extend their working years.

So, while the content of work may continue to shift greatly from generation to generation, the way people think about their careers may settle more into place. And with a greater focus on flexibility, parents and their adult children will be able to spend more time together—regardless of what they all do for a living.