Millennials are the largest generation in the American labor force. The landscape of the job market has drastically changed over the last forty years.
But, the ongoing generational shift is drastically different from those that came before it. Millennials have different career expectations than baby boomers. Furthermore, they are finding innovative and unique routes to their careers.
And, compared to baby boomers, millennials are in a search for a different kind of career. More importantly, many of them are not willing to settle for anything less.
If you are running a business that is always looking for new, younger talent, here is what you need to know.
1. Millennials are not afraid to change jobs
When it comes to “job-hopping,” millennials beat every other generation. Hardly any millennial expects to be working in one company until they retire.
Millennials know what they want from a new job. If they don’t get it, they won’t hesitate to seek employment elsewhere.
Not so long ago, hiring managers frowned upon the concept of job-hopping. They used to consider employees who would not stick to a consistent for a longer period to be unreliable.
Even now, many employers expect their new employees to stay at their company for at least 2 years. But, millennial job-hopping habits are changing all of that.
So, what makes them such fearless “job-hoppers”? The main reason is money. They won’t settle for less than what is available, at least from a financial standpoint.
Working at their current company, most workers can expect to make an average of 2 percent to 3 percent raise annually. Often, they can make more money simply by switching jobs.
For many millennials, the most efficient way to move up the corporate ladder is to apply for a new job.
But, on the other hand, there are many millennials who are ready to accept a pay cut for the “right job.” These millennials are motivated by their personal values, beliefs, and hobbies, rather than money. This brings us to our next point.
2. Millennials choose passion and fulfillment over money and status
Many millennials value fulfillment and passion above everything else. This is not something money can necessarily buy.
The average millennial wants their role in the company to have an impact on themselves.
They also want their company to make a difference in the world.
Millennials work for companies that are not afraid to take a stance and fight for something they believe in.
They are the happiest when their job gives them purpose and meaning.
They also want an opportunity to grow and learn. Millennials value education, be it formal or informal, and they expect to get it in the workplace.
They appreciate employers that can offer constructive criticism and performance feedback. This kind of leadership encourages and motivates them to grow, learn, and succeed.
An employer that can develop a rapport with their millennial employees and discuss opportunities for growth and improvement can count on their personal investment in the company.
3. Millennials value flexibility
Millennials place great importance on topics such as flexibility and work-life balance.
Considering that this is a generation that has grown up alongside technology, they know how to use online and digital tools and platforms to make their lives easier.
They know that they can get their work done outside the office. Moreover, they are more than willing to prove it to their employers. Millennials aren’t specific about working hours either.
Younger generations seek opportunities that offer them maximum flexibility. Millennial employers often encourage workers to work when they are most productive, as long as they deliver results.
If an employer allows workers to work even in the middle of the night, they can rest assured they’ll attract many millennial candidates.
Millennials also value flexible schedules and remote work because it allows them to spend more time with friends and family, take advantage of their hobbies, and live where they want.
4. Millennials are not afraid to dive into new markets
Younger generations often desire more than their current company can offer. This is another major reason why they are not strangers to job-hopping.
In fact, many of them are more than willing to change industries if it will give them a chance to fulfill their goals.
Millennials won’t hesitate to seek out a better fit for their professional and personal growth. About 16 percent of millennials are more likely to switch industries if their needs aren’t being met.
They opt to move away from forms sectors like media, government, and retail to growing markets like the online casino industry or the finance industry.
For instance, the constantly growing online casino market caters to millennials because it gives them a chance to advance their career in a diverse work environment.
It is also an industry where skills that many millennials possess are highly valued—skills such as design and computer programming.
Many millennials will confidently switch industries if the company aligns with their wants and if they possess the skill for the position.
5. Millennials are finding new ways to network
Not so long ago, if you wanted to socialize with other people within your industry and build strong relationships, traditional networking events were the best way to go. But many millennials consider these events to be ineffective.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t consider networking to be important.
Millennials have other ways to grow and maintain a supportive network. They engage and connect with others in their network differently.
For instance, they prefer to use social media to learn about each other instead of face-to-face interactions.
Formal introductions have a certain awkwardness to them, and digital icebreakers allow Millenials to avoid them altogether. Instead of enrolling in courses and classes, more and more millennials prefer to learn marketable skills online.
When it comes to in-person interactions, Millenials have traded traditional, more formal events for professional events that give them a chance to bond with others on a personal level as well.
For example, many millennial parents will multitask whenever possible because they value work-life integration.
So, to build and maintain both professional and personal relationships with others, some of them like to schedule networking playdates with other colleagues who have kids. Many such innovative networking trends were started by millennials.
Millennials also prefer smaller, more intimate settings to larger networking mixers. For instance, instead of hanging out with a large group of people at a company happy hour, millennials will rather go to a dinner party with a smaller group.
They also like to network via high-energy activities, such as team sports or fitness events. Instead of playing golf with coworkers and business partners, millennials would rather attend group training sessions at gyms.
Takeaway: Creative ways millennials are choosing unique career paths
Millennials may be a bit particular about the way they search for employment, but there is no doubt that they are changing the workplace for the better.
Millennials have made technology, globalization, and social causes inherent in their lives, and they expect to see all of this in the workplace as well.
While it is true that baby boomers often value the same things as millennials, millennials have shown that they are willing to go the extra mile to get them.
And they are not afraid to say no or move on to another company if their employers don’t meet their expectations.
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Jessie Connor is a passionate writer and researcher from Brisbane, contributor for several business and lifestyle blogs, hooked on yoga and healthy living. She loves to spend her free time travelling, reading and of course – shopping!