Each year, we conduct a work-life survey for university students to explore their thoughts on the work environment and future careers. The survey was conducted from May 24th to June 9th, 2022, and a total of 5022 individuals participated.

We wanted to know what specifically concerns students in the workplace. The most common responses were related either to their own well-being and work-related pressures or to finding employment and interesting job tasks.

Own well-being

Well-being is a major concern for a significant number of students – over half of the respondents listed well-being at work as one of their worries. Similar results have been found in various other surveys conducted for students by professional organizations, for example.

It is not surprising that well-being in the workplace is a cause for concern, as many experience burnout already during their studies. Student well-being has been in the spotlight lately, particularly due to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the queues for mental health services at the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) are growing. Factors influencing well-being include feelings of loneliness, as many students have not been able to integrate into the student community in the same way during periods of distance learning. As a result, the time of studying is increasingly exhausting, and the forthcoming work career is also causing anxiety.

The survey also revealed that students are concerned about coping with work-related pressures. Pressures in the workplace can arise from various factors, such as productivity targets, responsibility, leadership tasks, and of course, the pressures related to livelihood.

How can well-being be supported?

Jobs where you can clock out exactly at four and forget work for the rest of the day are running low In the future working life, more self-guidance and self-leadership skills are required. For one’s own well-being and welfare, it is also crucial to develop self-awareness and life management skills so that a balance between work life and leisure time can be maintained. It is good to note that the responsibility for one’s well-being is not solely on the individual but that modern leadership also requires a new way of thinking and understanding to prevent burnout.

Students have actively taken a stance on matters related to well-being, and for example, at the University of Oulu, an entirely new type of course called “The Happiest Student in the World” was organized this fall. The course focuses on self-awareness and self-leadership, as these are skills that can and should be developed. Now, for the first time, students can learn these skills on a university course. The course is yet another testament to students’ innovativeness, their ability to find solutions to different challenges, and their desire to make the world a slightly better place.

Finding interesting job tasks

The second most common concern among students was finding interesting job tasks. Not everyone knows precisely during their studies what they want to do in the future. Many study fields are very broad, offering numerous opportunities. Therefore, it can be challenging to find the right fit and the right workplace to do work that is enjoyable. Additionally, there is stiff competition for some popular professions, which can cause concern among students.

Getting employed in their own field was also a concern for many of the respondents. However, this concern varies among students in different fields, depending on the current job market situation in their field. For example, students in health and well-being sectors are less worried about getting employed in their own field, while students in humanities and arts are clearly more concerned about it.

How to find the right thing?

One can get to try interesting job tasks through different job positions, internships, and other projects. This is a good way to get to know employers and get a foot in the door. At Tuudo, we want to do our part to help students transition into the working life and find their fit. For example, through Tuudo Talent, we offer students opportunities to do things like theses or other student projects together with employers.

Do you know what students’ most important strengths are in the job market? Read more.