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Nov 2013

3 Things Millennials Want -- And How You Can Deliver Them

This post is by Val Matta, vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers and HR professionals that gives job seekers complete control over their search. Millennials: A generation that’s warped with stereotypes. But do you really know what they want? It’s easy to peg Millennials as selfish or ungrateful -- a “me, me, me” generation of sorts. But if you want to get the most out of this segment of your workforce, you need to take the time to think about what they are really looking for in a career. Here's a breakdown.


Even with recent economic downturns, surveys indicate 62 percent of Millennials believe a career is possible in today’s work environment. The majority also believe a career requires a college education and ample training. However, that doesn’t mean they have to stick to what they’re used to: About 30 percent don’t buy into the fact that you have to stay in one industry or type of work for years. What this means to you: Millennials are just as in tune with their careers as previous generations. However, getting the most out of their professional lives may not mean staying put and climbing up the ladder. While you may have some trouble retaining Millennials, you can focus on keeping their attention by understanding their individual needs and how they work. Learn what you can do to help them to move forward professionally, like conducting anonymous surveys to identify gaps, offering varied projects, or pairing them with a mentor.


Both jobs and careers provide a sense of accomplishment for Millennials. However, when jobs and careers are separated, there lies the discrepancy: Only 37 percent of Millennials believe careers provide a sense of accomplishment. And when they’re polled about individual jobs alone, only two percent of Millennials say they believe a job can provide a sense of accomplishment. What this means to you: Many Millennials probably won’t want to focus their entire lives on an individual job. As the data indicates, Millennials want more balance and room to do other activities, like volunteer work or creative side projects. Offer flexible alternatives, like remote or telecommuting options, to accommodate and engage workers with a need for flexibility.

Financial Goals

Money talks, right? Well, for Millennials, it goes a little deeper than that. More than half of Millennials believe a career provides them with lifelong earning potential. However, a job alone may not be a way they reach that earning potential. For example, if money were not an issue, many Millennials say they would go into artistic or creative professions. In the end, only 11 percent of Millennials would chose money over another career. What this means to you: Millennials care about money, but still want to pursue their interests. In an optimal situation, they’d get the best of both worlds. If you can’t compensate them monetarily, try to incorporate perks, such as professional development opportunities, rewards, or social recognition. This makes them feel appreciated, as well as compensated for their efforts. Millennials are a complicated bunch. However, if you understand what they want out of an organization, as well as a career, they’ll be much more satisfied and perform better because of it. What do you think? Do you agree with these findings? What are some other things Millennials want?
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