Third of young Aussies fear being trapped in a lifetime of debt, finds study

An annual study by Junkee Media and Ooh Media has found young Australians are reconsidering their careers and what they want out of life as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study’s findings titled ‘Doom, Gloom and Boom’, found 68% of young people were reconsidering their life priorities, while a while for 32% their greatest fear was being trapped in a lifetime of debt.

Junkee Doom, Gloom and Boom study

Ooh Media’s chief content, marketing and creative officer, Neil Ackland, said the report provided key insights into Millennials and Gen Z to help brands engage with them more effectively.

53% of respondents to the study questioned their chosen career path, while for 26%, being stuck in a job they didn’t care about was their second greatest fear.  

“The findings have really shown that young Australians are a robust bunch, and have clearly used this year as an opportunity to reset, review, and reflect on their lives and what matters most,” Ackland said.

“This demographic is one of the hardest hit by COVID, yet they’re thinking wisely and staying happy, remaining resilient and positive for the future despite everything that’s been thrown at them.”

The study also found that more than half (55%) of respondents said they expected to feel the impacts of  COVID for one to three years.  

Meanwhile, exactly half believed that young Australians were unfairly represented in the media during COVID. 

Ackland said it is important that “brands should take note of this change in perspective, and explore three key areas – personalisation, possession and progression.

“Personalisation is all about tailored approaches to suit different audiences within these age groups, while possession looks at young Australians’ evolving relationships with the tangible, and how typical experiential milestones might have been replaced by more grounded ambitions due to the pandemic,” he added.

“On a wider scale, progression considers how brands can find new opportunities to build relationships and partner with people as they rethink their lives and careers, chasing the elusive blend of purpose, passion and high pay.”

The study used a combination of in-house research and a partnership with Pollinate, with over 5,500+ young Australians aged 16 to 35 surveyed in total.


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