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Work-life balance essential for young workers, according to new research by Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme

November 29, 2023

  • Research highlights current expectations of younger workers, with focus on personal development and workplace supports
  • Work-life balance is most important to 58% of Gen Z and Millennial workers when applying for a role, ahead of salary and other benefits
  • More than half believe mental health support is an essential element of any workplace
  • 1 in 5 Gen Z workers would like to pursue their career overseas within the next year

A survey of Irish workers has revealed interesting new insights into workplace expectations, with younger workers placing strong emphasis on work-life balance and personal development. For both Gen Z and Millennials, a healthy work-life balance is the primary consideration when seeking a role (58%), more important than starting salary (48%), according to new research commissioned by the Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme. It also ranked higher than features including flexible annual leave options (44%), hybrid working (26%) and fully remote working (22%).

The research also highlights that newer generations entering the workplace place strong emphasis on personal development opportunities. Over half of the respondents (aged 21-42) believe both personal and professional development opportunities are equally important in the workplace while a fifth (21%) believe that personal development is more important to their career. Mental health supports are ranked as the most important personal development support in the workplace for both Gen Z (51%) and Millennials (56%).

The Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme has been recruiting and training graduates for over 30 years and has been recognised as the #1 FMCG Graduate Employer in Ireland since 2014.

The role of a Jameson Brand Ambassador in Irish Distillers is not a typical 9 to 5 role as they are given the freedom and flexibility to shape their own work schedule and encouraged to carve out space for their physical and mental health. Irish Distillers’ Thrive Wellbeing programme offers employees access to a 24/7 mental health team, mental health coaching, open ended therapy, a digital gym, and more.

Sinéad D’Arcy, Head of Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme said:

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The secret to the success of the Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme has been its ability to adapt to the evolving needs and expectations of applicants. The programme has witnessed many changes over its 30 plus years, from pioneering video applications so candidates could showcase their true selves; to breaking down barriers by adapting a skills-first hiring approach which focuses on candidates’ attitude and aptitude over their degree discipline. As the programme continues to evolve, this year, Irish Distillers has changed the name of the programme from the Jameson International Graduate Programme to the Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme to remind applicants that we are not just open to current graduates, but to anyone with a university degree in the early stages of their career.

The research also found that Gen Z workers can be conflicted between focusing on their careers and pursuing travel opportunities – for 51%, progressing a career in Ireland is the current priority but 1 in 5 plan to advance their career abroad and 1 in 4 intend to take time out to travel.

Jameson Brand Ambassadors have the opportunity to build brand awareness and brand advocacy for Jameson in over 35 international markets, including India, Korea, China, and Japan. For those more focused on progressing their career in Ireland, the Irish Distillers Early Careers Programmes offer domestic roles across a range of disciplines.

Unsurprisingly, career progression is an important consideration for young workers considering their options. According to the research, four in ten 21–28-year-olds rate career advancement an important factor when looking for a role. Jameson Brand Ambassadors have played a critical role in the growth of Irish whiskey on the world stage over the past 30 years and many have remained within the wider network, with some programme alumni progressing into leadership positions within Irish Distillers domestically and Pernod Ricard globally.

The award-winning Distill Your Own Success training and development programme provides Brand Ambassadors with the tools and skills they need to hit the ground running. In addition to the supportive Jameson Brand Ambassador network, Brand Ambassadors are also plugged into a global network of professionals across Irish Distillers and Pernod Ricard whom they can lean on for advice and guidance.

With changing work environments, mentorship is becoming ever more important. One third of adults surveyed benefit from a mentoring or ‘buddy’ system in the workplace. This figure rises to 48% for those in hybrid roles.

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This culture of mentorship and support has become part of the fabric of the Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme. At Irish Distillers, our focus is on supporting and empowering young professionals to become their best self. This focus on personal development results in them thriving professionally.

D’Arcy added.


The Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme is now accepting applicants for 2024 / 2025 and is looking for creative, innovative, self-starters with an entrepreneurial mindset to become the next generation of Jameson Brand Ambassadors.  The deadline for applications is 1pm on 14th February 2024; please visit www.jamesongraduateprogramme.com for more information.