Paul (first name has been changed), 26, has been a lawyer in a public body for two years. He estimates that he works at least 45 hours a week and has even experienced several months of almost 60 hours a week. His employment contract provides for 39 hours. Raphaël, 22, spent a year in consulting, with “A lot of pressure and almost unlimited hours. Only the result counts ”. With, as a carrot, bonuses, and, as a stick, the threat of being fired if the objectives are not met.
Certainly, many young people at the beginning of their careers do not count their hours. Particularly in sectors such as consulting or start-ups.
Thus, Alexandre Fitussi, co-founder of Beanstock, a start-up specializing in real estate, which employs around forty employees aged 23 to 30, recognizes that“It is not uncommon that employees are still present in the premises at 9 pm or 10 pm. Young people are extremely hardworking ”.
Paul confirms the exhilarating and stimulating side of work, but he sees further: “I am acquiring experience and skills. I know I will be rewarded in the long run. “ Others, however, seem much more in a hurry to make a return on their investment. “The impatience of young people is terrifying, considers Alexandre Fitussi. After only three months, they are already asking for a salary increase, a career progression… ”
For Jean-Yves Boulin, sociologist, associate researcher at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Social Sciences at Paris-Dauphine University, “Young people show a kind of voluntary submission. They find themselves caught up in their need for recognition. In addition, presenteeism remains a very French phenomenon ”. Alexandre Fitussi does not hesitate to assert that “In start-ups, working time is a completely outdated concept. Today, what young people want is above all to be trusted. If there is something they hate, it is the control, in particular that of the schedules “.
This is confirmed by Raphaël, who, after a year in consulting, joined a company in the automotive sector a few months ago as an assistant to the key account manager and experienced a real culture shock: ” It’s day and night ! Now, I have to badger morning, noon and night! regrets the young man. HR and my manager are very keen on respecting schedules (39 hours per week) and they don’t hesitate to ask people to leave the offices after a certain hour. It was a very unpleasant surprise! I had not asked any questions on the subject during my interviews, because for me it was taboo. Evoking working time was tantamount to showing a lack of motivation. “
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