Generation me: work

Above all the other parts of our life, I find this one the most changed since Millenials generation came. We don’t think about sticking to our job no matter what anymore. This difference shows up the most when I’m talking to my parents – ambitious and very successful people, who I always considered as my best advisors when it comes to my career choices.

Well, imagine their reaction when I told them I’m leaving my well-paid job as Head of PR in communication agency and decided to work as communication freelancer (where I earn little) and develop Polish-Israeli Startups Foundation (where I don’t earn money at all). Their reaction was pretty like this:

 

Even though 1) my parents resigned from law graduates traditional career and started to work as headhunters in their own company 2) I tried to explain them all the reasons standing behind it several times, they were against (and I guess they still are) my free-spirit, in their opinion, decision.

It made me realize something extremely important: there are some differences in the approach to professional life between our two generations (baby boomers and Millenials) that simply cannot be jumped over. Later on, when I started to do my research and collect data, I made sure that my very personal experience is something most of Millenials and generations after Millenials face.

So what are the conclusions?

1. We are loyal as long as you give us what we want.

PwC research (it was made in 2011, so only 4 years after the economic crisis) shows, that while yet in 2008 only 10% was expecting to have six and more employers in their lifetime, in 2011 that number has increased to 25%!

At the same time, studies made by Bentley University is coming with the number 48% of Millenials, who are willing to stay with one company for many years. Although there are few conditions that work has to meet:

a. work has to allow us to fulfill ourselves and accommodate our personal values such as allocation, relationships and stability (or job security).

b. the second number from above makes even more sense when you see the data saying, that 76% of woman and 73% of men are not willing to compromise their families and personal values for work. Wow!

2. Sacrifices are okay.

When I was hiring PR managers for my agency I always asked them one, very important question: are you willing to attend events organised in the evenings and weekends? Why was it so important to me? It was giving me a flavour, general approach of the candidate to the subject of sacrificing the time and his flexibility to working hours.

I was looking for people who are willing to develop themselves by meeting new people and making valuable contacts both for them and the company. In return, I was giving them tickets for, most of the times, invitation only events.

I knew that positive answer meant that person is focused on his own development, and though that – on my company’s development, that he/she sees the potential of this situation. If he/she said no, it could mean two things: he didn’t see the potential of this situation or his personal life did not give him a chance to do that.

So what are the studies saying? Millenials are ready for sacrifices. 69% are okay with frequent travels, 68% are okay to relocate (sic!), 53% are ready to work long hours and on weekends, and something I find very interesting – 53% are ready to get a lower-paid or unpaid job/internship for experience and connections.

3. We value self-development more than anything.

PwC studies show that financial reward for our work is on the THIRD place, after personal learning and flexible working hours.  Does it surprise me? Not at all. I have totally the same feelings about that.

This conclusion is strongly connected with being loyal – the relationship between these two is this: if you, as an employer, will allow me to develop myself (and my own, personal development means the development of the company as well)  I will remain loyal to you. We can see the same dependency when it comes to flexible hours and being rewarded (cash bonus, promotion) for our achievements.

4. The World is important.

However that will sound – we value mother Earth and we want to make it a better place. 84% of respondents of Bentley University studies claim that making the world a better place within their work is more important to them than professional recognition.

But that’s, just as a cherry on top of this pean for Millenials 😉

5. Final conclusions.

Does those statistics confirm conviction about self-focused Millenials generation? In my opinion, no. It shows something totally different- we aim to do great things. We want to work for one company as long as it only allows us to develop ourselves. And also – our own personal development doesn’t mean a loss for employer – the opposite actually, we want to grow mutually with and within our companies.

I’m very curious of your opinion and experiences in above – if you have any thoughts on this – let me know in comments, I’ll be more than happy to get to know them.

Bellow you’ll find my sources, I strongly encourage to read those reports – you’ll find there way more valuable info, which I didn’t include in my post.

Studies:

1. PwC’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC

2. Millenials in the workplace, Bentley University

3. Millenials at work – Reshaping the workplace, PwC

Jeremi Jak

Jeremi is communication & marketing expert working in the area of startups, new technologies and culture. Founder of Polish-Israeli Startups Foundation where he strives to develop Polish startup ecosystem and build a lasting bridge between Israel and Poland. Over past 5 years, he worked as a communication specialist for brands like Mitsubishi, ASUS, HUAWEI, Nationale Nederlanden. The connected experience of software project management and marketing executive make it possible to effectively consult and develop startups.

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