If you are between the ages of 23 and 38 you are considered a millennial or Gen Y-er. While the term millennial spans an array of people, from entry-level job applicants to mid-level managers with differing interest and outlooks, according to the latest Deloitte Millennial survey*, it seems that most millennials have the same concerns when it comes to finding happiness and fulfillment in the workplace.
Rowin Singh, talent practice manager at Procter & Gamble, unpacks some of these concerns and shares his thoughts on what millennials, especially those on the entry level side, should do to mitigate these in order to live their best business life.
- 49% of Gen Y-ers say they’d quit their job in the next two years. Why? Money, lack of growth opportunities, and no chance to advance.
When looking for an employer, be sure to pick one who offers fair compensation, benefits and clear opportunities for progression. Ideally, you want to work for a business that creates a plan for your career progression, focusing on personal development as well as technical and business skills. Pick a company that’ll groom you for a key role that suits your unique interests and talents.
- Most millennials are now seriously skeptical of business’ motives.
Don’t be afraid to fully interrogate a prospective employer through some well-thought out questions at interview stage. As a company’s core values impact your own value system, ask about the business’ mission, principles or values and how these play out in practice in its day-to-day operations.
- Most Gen Y-ers are feeling negative about economic and social progress, with almost half of those surveyed convinced their personal financial situation won’t improve in the next year. But, 52% of millennials want to be wealthy and to afford property.
For those at the start of their career, it makes seeking out a company that’ll offer above-average compensation even more of a must. It’s also worth asking a potential employer if your package includes any other benefits, such as annual performance bonuses or if stock ownership is an option for employees. These added elements can help contribute towards your overall compensation. Once you find an employer that matches your needs, and you feel like they provide an environment where you can grow professionally, remember that tenure is one of the surest ways to grow compensation.
- 57% of millennials have travel as their top ambition.
You’re part of a generation that’s obsessed with experiences – and that’s something to embrace! Obviously, an employer that offers travel opportunities is a plus. Consider working for a multinational that has offices around the globe and offer certain staff to partake in work exchanges to experience different cultures and ways of working. You can also travel in your own capacity, depending on your compensation and allocated leave. If you’re serious about travel, you might also want to explore the possibilities of finding an employer open to the idea of sabbaticals for long-term staff.
- 46% are keen to make a positive difference to society: Personally, millennials seem primarily concerned about climate change and the environment.
You prioritise catalysing positive change more than previous generations – and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s changing businesses around the world. Now more than ever, companies are expected to be bastions of morality and advocates for social change. Pick a company to work for that does this authentically as part of a long-term business goal that aligns with its vision – and your values.
- Most Gen Y-ers want more work-life integration.
Again, this is a perception that has shifted in businesses globally. Now, there’s more emphasis than ever on flexibility – a four-day work week is even a ‘thing’ in some places! Ask about working hours before you sign on the dotted line. Also, find out if you’ll ever have to work on weekends, whether you get regular work-from-home days, and what the maternity/paternity leave package entails, if you want children.
- Gen Y-ers also want a culture that champions emotional intelligence and affirmation.
A final point, but perhaps the most important one. Ensure you find an employer that really values its people. That means an inclusive culture where your soft and hard skills are seen and appreciated. An inclusive organisation will prioritise open communication, with flatter hierarchies to ensure everyone’s opinions are considered. Find out how a future employer ensures diversity is a continuous business goal and ask about things like sensitivity training and workshops.
*Surveyed 13,316 millennials across 42 countries and territories, including South Africa