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Two-Thirds of 18-35 Year Old Workers have Career Wanderlust

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More than two-thirds (68%) of the UK’s 18-35 workers have career wanderlust and want to travel more internationally with their job, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 people, carried out by Europe’s number one sports retailer, Decathlon, found that although 55% of 18-35 year-olds have travelled internationally for work at least three times in the past year – some as many as seven times – just 32% were satisfied with the amount of air miles clocked up during this time.

What’s more, 63% of respondents in the 18-35 age bracket also said that they would be more likely to accept a job that offered round-the-world opportunities; 21% higher than the average figure across all age groups.

When quizzed on why they would like to travel more, 53% of 18-35 year olds said they think it would make their job more exciting, 37% see work travel as a cost-effective way to see the world, and 23% also said that they don’t like to be tied to one place in their career or life.

Perhaps worryingly for some employers, 19% of 18-35 year olds say they would be likely or very likely to leave their current job within the next 12 months to go travelling, due to a lack of opportunities to satisfy their wanderlust in their role, highlighting the consequences of not offering (or not being able to offer) international travel to their staff.

Given that experts predict that these age brackets will make up 35% of the workforce by 2020, it’s a vital demographic to pay attention to.

Thibault Peeters, CEO at Decathlon UK, commented:

 “The hyper-connected, technology-focused nature of today’s global landscape, coupled with cheaper air fares and the growth of new, developing markets has made international business trips more commonplace than ever before. Clearly, this had led to both an appetite and an expectation amongst younger workers to travel internationally in their chosen career.

“At Decathlon, we post around 25 opportunities to work abroad each year and this has proven to be one of the main factors why top talent apply to work at the company.

“The battle to attract and maintain great young talent continues to gain momentum in the UK. Career wanderlust is therefore something that employers should recognise, take into consideration and offer to prospective candidates as part of the job package in order to stay competitive. Those that don’t could find themselves lagging behind and will feel the strain of a weakened talent pipeline as a result.