AJ: I previously wrote about finding the dream job and was stunned by this article that states that 60% of millennials are leaving their “dream job” typically after just three years of employment (MSN article). So what gives, millennials? Where is the sense of obligation and desire for future growth? While most companies are no longer offering pensions, companies certainly offer programs and financial incentives to stay employed with them.
KJ: With such a high percentage of millennials leaving their “dream job” so quickly, my immediate reaction is to dig into “what caused them to leave?” Was it something related to the pay not being what they thought, did the hours take up more than they planned, or was the promised flexibility nonexistent? Maybe there weren’t enough questions asked by the employee (or employer), or maybe the answers provided aren’t what happened in reality. Part of what is clearly evident in this article though is that in today’s fast-paced world of change, today’s “dream job” may not be the same “dream job” for tomorrow.
When shorter stints = making less
AJ: A longer stay at a company can translate to extra vacation time, bonuses, long-term bonus incentives, stock options and more that can be quite substantial and are nothing to sneeze at. If millennials are staying at jobs for shorter periods of time, it makes perfect sense that millennials would be making less than their parents did at the same age (Millennials earn less than their parents, and the recession isn’t to blame), but why? We’re living longer, we’re demanding more from life and we’re making less. So what does it all mean? Maybe we’re willing to admit that what we had once thought qualified as a “dream job” really doesn’t fit the bill, all things considered, and maybe we’re willing to make a little less for overall quality of life.
Define your factors that make it a dream job
KJ: Make a list of what is most important to you, and rate your job for each category. Some top considerations are often: vacation time, flexibility (or rigidity) of hours, overtime required/recommended/nonexistent, ability to work from home, commute, pay (in all its potential capacities – salary, hourly, bonus, long-term incentive, ownership opportunities, etc.), ability to “turn work off” when you go home, etc. As you can see, pay is but one factor in the decision, so don’t think that the best paying job is going to be the best choice for you and your family. Whether you’re newly in the workforce or are searching around for the “dream job” later in life, then take a look at each company you’re reviewing and rate them on the above criteria. It may help you come to the conclusion that there could be several “dream jobs” for you or it may turn out that one company is a better fit for your current lifestyle. There’s little to no chance that a job can be perfect in every category, so learn what’s negotiable for your situation.
What are millennials after?
I think one reason why millennials may choose to leave a career is often for increased flexibility – as outlined in the above referenced article. Time with parents, time with a significant other, ability to watch your child’s milestone memories – you know, the overall quality of life decisions. We’ve seen our grandparents and parents work tirelessly their entire lives and maybe miss some important family moments, yet still get trapped by bills and unexpected items that come up, that it makes you really want to reflect on what is most important in your life. Keeping a balance is a challenging thing to find in life, so it’s always good to revisit your priorities and see if you’re on the path that you want to be.
Work smarter, not harder
AJ: “Work smarter, not harder” has become the mantra of the working man these days and perhaps there’s something that millennials are living by along those lines.
- What do you value most in your career?
What do you hope to get out of your career?
Tell us what factors would cause you to re-think your “dream job.”
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