Millennials. A generation ridiculed for its love for avocado, extreme political correctness, and a reputation of being overly sensitive. They are also known as the boomerang generation because of the high percentage of finished graduates who move in back to their parents’ house. But have they truly deserved to be looked down on like this?
The reality is a bit different than this generalized image, as millennials are exposed to great amounts of pressure. They grew up in times of technological change, economic disruption, and globalization, and now – they participate in a highly competitive market where seeking a job in is not exactly a walk in a park. Although severely different from the previous generations (Generation X and Baby Boomers), millennials hold the future in their hands: according to some forecasts, they will make 75% of the workforce by 2025. But their expectations from the workplace and their ambitions might surprise you.
They Want to Create Meaning
Millennials are probably the most studied generation ever. According to the Gallup report, 55% of them don’t feel engaged at work, and being engaged happens to be their top priority. Millennials don’t want to work just for a paycheck, they need to feel they have a purpose. Money is important, but it’s not a driver like it was for previous generations.
According to the findings of the Millennial Impact Project, a stunning 94% of the millennials are interested in putting their skills into practice for a certain social cause. Millennials tend to identify themselves with their career choices, as what they do is the most important part of who they are. Only when their personal system of values resonates greatly with the company’s mission will they feel satisfied at work.
They Are the True Entrepreneurial Generation
The generation of millennials gathers digital natives who live in the era of new emerging professions. By using their creativity, they are becoming the generation of digital entrepreneurs. Three crucially important things they look for: room to express themselves, way to contribute to a certain cause, and a chance to earn some money. We’re talking about establishing ecommerce stores where they can sell unique products, founding digital agencies that have online marketing or other services in focus, and of course – vlogging and blogging.
Today, anyone can put up a website and create an eye-catching blog which can be monetized later. With affordable domain and hosting options, user-friendly WordPress, and free stock photography available across the web, millennials have a chance of building their own brand online. And they choose to make the most of it, with awareness of the shift to the digital world, i.e. the importance of being visible and making an impression in the cyberspace.
Job Hopping Isn’t Unusual
Basically, millennials want a workplace that is humanized and where they can freely speak to their managers. They are eager to constantly learn and develop their skills, which is why they perceive their bosses like their mentors, not superiors. Monthly and annual reports just won’t cut it anymore: millennials seek continuous feedback, which should not come to us as a surprise. They are used to real-time communication with social media and instant messaging.
And in case they don’t feel fulfilled at a workplace, the ambitious ones will easily move onto the next best thing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person has held 6.2 jobs by the age of 26. That’s quite a lot. Although in the past, job hopping was notorious as it was interpreted as the inability of a worker to hold a job, today – it’s a sign of agility, desire to learn and experience new things.
Saying Goodbye to the Traditional Workplace
Millennials favor their personal time and they aren’t willing to sacrifice their afore set time schedule, not even for a higher paycheck. They might be onto something, given the fact developed countries such as Sweden, adopted the six hour workday and found the employees more productive and healthier, which in the long run – means cut down health-care costs. It’s not the amount of hours spent in the office, but the quality of work done. Another thing this generation values is flexibility. Especially when it comes to creative jobs where inspiration is hard to force out. Additional perks they appreciate are vacation policies adjusted to their needs.
Millennials are expected to challenge the status quo, bring innovation, and push the world forward. In fact, they are already doing it, under their own terms and on their common ground: the digital world.