Millennials and 'job satisfaction': is the career ladder outdated?


It's one of those terms people love or loathe depending on its context.

For me, as a millennial (but with a self professed Generation X mentality), I find the term irritating and a catch-all to generalise people who are 'lazy, narcissistic and prone to jump from job to job' all the while being 'rewarded for minimal accomplishments'.

However, the other way to look at this is perhaps the view that millennials are a canary in the cage situation. They are increasingly flagging, and in some instances, demonstrating that there is value in 'job satisfaction' as opposed to 'job security'.

A recent Gallup report in the US revealed that 21% of millennials have hopped jobs within the past year (compared to non-millennials who are three times less likely).

Doesn't sound good does it?

But not so quickly...

Deloitte's 2015 'millennial survey' found that some 75% of millennials believe businesses are far too concerned on their own agendas rather than improving the wider community. A clear 50% would take a pay cut to work with an organisation that matches their values and 90% of participants wanted to use their skills for good.

So what does this mean?

It appears that this new generation of talent is not so content with keeping the wheel turning and climbing the 'corporate ladder' for the sake of accomplishment. Instead, they are more focused with finding purpose and fulfilment in their jobs and are concerned with creating lives defined by meaning and shared value.

So, to all the non-millennial employers out there, my thoughts are this. Next time you have a young 'whipper-snapper' interviewing and they talk about their wish to learn something new about themselves regardless of where they are, see this as someone who is willing to take the harder road towards adding value and seeing their career life as a lifelong experiment as opposed to a preordained slog.

Grant Movsowitz

Grant Movsowitz

Co-Founder and Director, T+O+M Executive

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