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Millennials’ Love-Hate Relationship with Old-Fashioned Jobs

All the eyes of the business world are looking at Millennials, a generation that leaves nobody indifferent. While some praise them for their ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, others believe that they don’t have what it takes to meet the standards of the previous generations. However, what Baby Boomers fail to realize is that the standards have changed and that the Millennial generation doesn’t really want to live up to the expectations of the traditional work environment.

Purpose comes first

Purpose is perhaps the single most important factor that Millennials are looking for in their jobs. Purpose is also what old-type jobs don’t offer to this aspiring generation. Millennials want to make a difference in the world, while simultaneously realizing their potential. They want jobs that will provide them with opportunities for self-actualization and career advancement. In the traditional workplace, employees are expected to do their jobs properly and that’s it. Traditional corporations are ready to provide their employees with appropriate compensations, but they are reluctant to encourage their dreams and creativity. As a generation who likes to live outside the box, Millennials feel stifled in such a work environment, which is why they often leave it behind.

The importance of flexibility

The values of Baby Boomers and Millennials greatly differ. While the older generation would rather accept long-term jobs with sizable compensations, start a family and grow old, Millennials would gladly work for slightly less if that means having more flexibility at work and opportunities for advancement. The modern job market has greatly changed, promoting flexibility and culture in the workplace. Millennials don’t want to work nine to five and then go home for a family dinner. They often take up short-term jobs because of the flexibility they offer. Millennials want to work on their own terms, at their own pace and according to their own schedules, which enables them to have a better work-life balance and general life satisfaction.

Corporate personality is a must

Millennials don’t want to be seen as numbers in large, faceless corporations that don’t care about their employees. In the traditional work environment, communication is strictly formal and business-related, with employers meeting with their employees for official reports and evaluations. Millennials, on the other hand, value companies with distinct personalities that appreciate their workers and their ideas. Instead of formal and distant conversations, they want an open and ongoing communication with their employers that will provide them with genuine, real-time feedback. Not only does this enhance the general job satisfaction, but it also contributes to Millennials’ deeper, more meaningful engagement in their jobs.

The issue of job hopping

While old-type jobs provide their workers with greater financial security, offering employee benefits and guaranteed pensions, most of them fail to provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Baby Boomers certainly don’t mind this type of work environment and are more than happy to accept long-term positions in such companies. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t find such old-type jobs satisfying, which is why they would rather “job hop” and go searching for more promising opportunities. However, Baby Boomers unfairly describe them as job hoppers, believing that they leave their jobs because they are selfish and lazy. Millennials do appreciate the financial security of traditional employment, but with economy fluctuating, it’s just more difficult to find jobs that offer security along with the possibilities for personal and professional growth.

Revolutionized education

Millennials are a highly educated generation, and a college degree has become a standard criterion when it comes to employment. However, when compared to the educational system of older generations, education has greatly changed in accordance with the changes of the modern job market. Social advancement and technological progress have resulted in new job openings that didn’t exist in the past. Education has become highly digitalised, with computer literacy being as important as basic literacy, and an expected aspect of personal qualifications. Furthermore, informal education and additional specialisations have become extremely important, which has led to the emergence of diverse digital learning opportunities. Big companies and government institutions are working towards computer literacy with all of their employees, and a good example of this is TP3 digital learning, one of the leaders in this industry in Australia. As a generation that values opportunities for growth, Millennials can truly progress owing to such diverse educational environments

The gap between generations

The gap between generations is undeniable and it’s present in the workplace, as well. Since Baby Boomers and Millennials have completely different values and lifestyles, they sometimes can’t really see eye to eye. Both generations are typically blinded by misconceptions about each other, which eventually impedes their collaboration. While Baby Boomers nurture old-fashioned work ethic and are quite professional and formal, Millennials are more casual, focusing on different experiences and creativity. Due to these generational differences, working together is sometimes borderline impossible. Nonetheless, those individuals who manage to look beyond their differences can learn from each other and create a truly inspiring work environment, combining the best of both generations.

Millennials are a generation of innovation and exploration that seeks excitement, value and purpose. This is why they often leave old-type jobs behind, searching for better career opportunities.

About Isabel William

Body&Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, runner, and Tai Chi master. She believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.

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