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30+ Talented Young Professionals

30+ Talented Young Professionals

In order to form a clear picture of how these gifted young professionals view Cyprus, the current financial crisis and their own situation, we asked them for their views on a range of issues. A selection of their answers is presented on the following pages but some clear and striking conclusions emerge from their answers. For instance, while acknowledging that nepotism and “knowing the right people” still exists within companies, most of the people to whom we spoke expressed the view that the concept of meritocracy is no longer unknown in Cyprus, especially within foreign-owned, Cyprus-based firms which have brought with them a fairer way of dealing with their personnel. What’s more, the vast majority of respondents to our questions said that they would not want to live and work abroad, even if they had the opportunity. The main reason would appear to be the perceived quality of life that Cyprus offers, although, paradoxically, one of the main issues raised as a serious problem facing their generation (together with unemployment and an excess of highly-qualified people) was that of work-life balance. It appears that Cyprus is a good place to live and work but that it is quite an art to ensue that one does not fall into the trap of leading a life that is all work and no play.

In keeping with the findings of the Cyprus Business Leaders Survey, published in the July issue of Gold, the young representatives of the broader professional services sector are almost unanimous in their optimism that the country will overcome the problems currently besetting the economy and the banking industry, though many of them predict that it will require several years of patience, austerity and better leadership before Cyprus has a chance of returning to pre-crisis levels of prosperity. On the positive side, it is suggested by many young professionals that the relative small size of the economy means that it should not be too difficult to fix its problems until natural gas comes to the rescue.

While recognising that times and attitudes have changed, the people we spoke to were divided on the issue of whether coming generations will have a more difficult time as they attempt to ascend the corporate ladder. For many, the present state of the economy means that, in the short term at least, it is going to be hard for newly-qualified graduates to find work corresponding to their field of study and their abilities, due to downsizing and fewer vacancies. Others take a more optimistic view, suggesting that there will always be demand for qualified professionals and that as Cyprus consolidates its position and reputation as a regional business, services and financial centre, this demand will increase. However, several representatives of the legal profession acknowledged that too many people are qualifying as lawyers to be employed by the island’s law firms, though at present the same situation does not seem to apply to the accountancy profession. Moreover, concern was expressed that other jurisdictions are pulling ahead of Cyprus in terms of attracting foreign investment and that the present generation of young professionals will have to bear the burden of correcting this negative course.

Readers who are firm supporters of equality between men and women in the workplace may note with some concern that our sample comprises 23 men and 10 women and may wish to draw conclusions from this. However, everyone featured on these pages was selected by his/her employer to represent their company/organisation and not by Gold. Our aim in drawing attention to the young people working in the professional services sector is to show that this key area of the economy is one which, in terms of recruitment and employment, is clearly in tune with what is happening in the larger economies and countries of Europe and the world.