Research from alternative finance and payment solutions provider, Sonovate has found half (50 per cent) of younger employees prefer a portfolio career where they hold a variety of roles across multiple companies and industries, instead of the favoured career path of their older colleagues. The research found less than one in five (19 per cent) older employees aged over 55 had this preference as they remain more committed to the traditional career path of progression in one company or sector.

Younger employees are increasingly embracing a non-linear career due to the desire for a better work/life balance and increased flexibility – including condensed working hours, working remotely and flexibility over how and when they are paid – as well as the ability to embrace side hustles and specific projects that take their interest.

Many younger employees are also planning a career break to have a family or pursue other interests, plans they believe will be simpler in a portfolio career. Six in ten (60 per cent) 18-34 year olds say that having a career break is an important factor, compared to just a quarter (26 per cent) of over 55s.

Over half (53 per cent) of all employees agree that contract or freelance working allows workers to experiment in other roles and sectors, providing a strong opportunity for career development – this rises to 62 per cent for 18-34 year olds. This is leading to almost four in ten (36 per cent) younger employees considering a switch into contract or freelance work, compared to just 7 per cent of their older colleagues.

Richard Prime, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Sonovate said: “The traditional career path has shifted forever, with the next generation of business leaders prioritising a wider skillset through working in a range of roles and sectors rather than the old-school linear progression of a company for life.

“Although many older employees still value the traditional career path, it seems like the tide has turned and businesses will need to meet growing demand from their workforce for flexible working and payment patterns if they’re going to remain competitive.”

However, many employees are concerned about potential delays to payment of invoices, especially during the cost of living crisis, which may be reducing the number of permanent employees entering the contract or freelance market. Despite many younger people prioritising contract or freelance working, concerns over uncertain pay schedules risks putting them off.

Richard Prime adds: “Late payments are an endemic issue, impacting many businesses as their suppliers may not always pay promptly – but it also has a knock-on impact on their workforce. Unfortunately for employers, if not paid on time, these contract or freelance workers will turn elsewhere causing a headache for businesses managing cash flow.”

Sonovate was set up as a challenger to traditional funders and provides businesses – from start-up to enterprise – with on-demand invoice financing. The tech platform delivers swift credit decisions, same-day funding, credit insurance and collection services as well as timesheet and workflow automation, empowering companies to concentrate on expanding their business, confident that processes and funds are in place to help meet payment deadlines. Since it started funding in 2014, Sonovate has lent over £4.2 billion to 3,300 businesses and 40,000 workers in 44 countries.

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