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The Surprising Thing Millennials Want From Their Career

(Source: www.forbes.com)

There has been so much written about how millennials are wildly different from the generations that came before them. Millennials or Gen Yers (a term coined by AdAge in 1993) are those who were born between 1982 and 2000. They have also been called the Boomerang Generation, acknowledging the trend among some millennials to move back home with their parents after they graduate from college.

A lot has been written about this enigmatic group. And researchers have described them as everything from lazy and self-centered to open minded and collaborative. The differences have been most dramatic in workplace aspirations and habits. Companies have been spending big money and hiring consultants to find out how to attract and engage this group. Their free-spiritedness, combined with a mindset that puts exhilarating experiences before loyalty, has created a challenge for companies that seek to attract (and retain, even briefly) the best talent.

According to an article in Time magazine, polls show that millennials “want flexible work schedules, more ‘me time’ on the job, and nearly nonstop feedback and career advice from managers.” Moreover, a Gallup study shows that millennials apply the mindset of “change” to the workplace. They want to be free of old workplace policies and performance management standards, and they expect leaders and managers to adapt accordingly. They see work and life as closely intertwined. Because of this, they want to have a different relationship with their manager. They want their manager to care about them as an employee and a person. They want to learn and grow. A full 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job.

But LinkedIn paints a different picture. Data recently released by LinkedIn reveals what the majority of millennials actually want:

Steady jobs with regular benefits and paychecks from employers.

That doesn’t sound so different from their Gen X or Boomer colleagues. That said, LinkedIn data does show how much more mobile millennials are in their careers. Based on US job switching activity in 2016, millennials were 50% more likely to relocate and 16% more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials.

Here are some other highlights from LinkedIn’s data.

Tech takes the top spot

It’s no surprise that the tech/software industry was the top landing spot for millennials who changed jobs in 2016, taking on roles like software developer and salesperson. The tech industry, along with healthcare and finance, is attracting the largest number of millennial job switchers. Tech – which is famous for high salaries and huge perks — is already a millennial-rich workplace. But based on LinkedIn profile data, it’s not just the compensation and perks that attract them. Millennials are more likely to be skilled in IT/software programming and computer design than their non-millennial counterparts — making them the right fit for those in-demand jobs.

While millennials who changed industries in 2016 flocked to tech more than any other industry, healthcare (with positions such as medical assistants and nurses) was number two on the list. The finance industry was the third-biggest gainer of millennial job switchers.

Retail, government, education, media, and the not-for-profit sector were the losers when it comes to millennial job switchers. LinkedIn learned that millennials are moving away from roles in those industries. Government agencies are struggling because they typically offer lower wages but more generous benefits. Yet millennials seek higher compensation over benefits.

According to a LinkedIn survey of members who switched jobs in 2016, millennials cited a lack of opportunities for career advancement, followed closely by dissatisfaction with compensation/benefits as the key reasons they switched jobs. Deanne Tockey, the author of the study’s findings, observed that “despite being called narcissistic, lazy, and mercurial, the majority of millennials want steady jobs with regular benefits and paychecks from employers.” This is not hugely different from what Gen Xers and Boomers have sought. This could explain why millennials are joining more traditional industries like healthcare and finance.

Millennials are clearly less tethered to their current employer. They’re more likely to switch jobs when it makes sense. But when it comes to careers, steady work with compensation and good benefits, along with an opportunity to learn and grow, is a common thread that links all generations.

William Arruda is the cofounder of CareerBlast and creator of Ace Your Annual Review, a proven system to help you ace your performance review and get promoted faster.

More Info: www.forbes.com

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