That millennial in your office? They only plan on staying there for two years
Employers struggle to persuade youngsters with itchy feet to stay in their jobs
Companies are finding it difficult to keep millennials – people who grew up in an age of rapid technological advances – to stay in their jobs for any period of time, and the internet’s to blame.
The internet has become an integral tool for many workers around the world, but it’s also seen as a way out to a better salary, says a British office health and safety software company.
UK based health and safety software company Protecting.co.uk recognises how many young adults are switching between jobs every couple of years to keep upping their work experiences, as well to be able to work globally.
“People don’t stay in the same job they got when they left school until they retire anymore,” says Mark Hall, spokesperson for Protecting.co.uk, “The notion of working hard in one job for your whole life is dying out with our grandparents’ generation.”
“The world is a millennial’s playground, and they intend to play in it.”
Work wherever you like, whenever you like
The lure of being able to change careers and remain working remotely and independently is appealing for many millennials, allowing them to become digital nomads and job-hoppers.
And working under a coronavirus lockdown is introducing more people to the concept.
“Many millennials are looking at career changes as a way to boost their CV’s, gaining relevant experience for a new position, then leaving again,” says spokesperson Mark Hall.
“It’s an easy way to jump up the ladder and gain experience, and by swapping jobs they can expect to add an extra £1-£2k PA to their wage.”
“With everybody working from home now, there’s less loyalty to a physical office. Covid-19 could bring about a huge churn in the job market,” says Hall.
Protecting.co.uk polled 600 university students to ask them about their ideal career progression post-grad, and found out that only 28% wanted to stay in their chosen career for life, with 21% planning to start their own business and the remaining 51% expecting to change jobs multiple times throughout their working lives.
History student Will tells us he’s only applied for a job for the experience and has no intention of staying once he’s got it, he’s only building his resume until he’s found a job that pays him enough money.
“I don’t want to be sat at the same desk for 40 years like my Uncle Dave,” says Alex in Exeter, “. I quite fancy getting some experience and then going off to Dubai for a few years, it’s tax-free you know, then maybe London, oh I can do my job on the beach so maybe Thailand after.”
“We all know a character like Uncle Dave, and how boring their desk jobs seems,” says company spokesman Mark Hall, “maybe they don’t want to be trapped in boring jobs like their elders, or are they just after the money?”
“Maybe I need to channel my inner millennial.”
But there are some who still hold to old values: “I’m training to be a teacher,” says Harriet, “so of course I’m planning to stay in the same job otherwise I wouldn’t bother doing the course. Once I’ve completed my degree, I can’t use it for any other job.”
Is job-hopping just because of a lack of ambition?
Although many millennials Protecting.co.uk talked to are using job-hopping as a way to up their skillset, many are met with a negative reaction by potential employers for changing jobs so often.
“Kids these days are unwilling to stick at anything and they’re not saving the money for a house or anything useful for the economy, they’re just buying meal deals and avocados,” says one business owner from Greater Manchester.
Recruitment agent Ellen agrees, “These kids are used to renting everything, houses, phones, even Netflix. They see jobs as something they don’t have to commit to for more than 24 months, like a new phone contract. They have no work ethic.”
In reality, there are many factors that millennials are taking into consideration when it comes to changing jobs, such as pay, work conditions, and ensuring they have a good work-life balance.
One reason that kept cropping up in Protecting’s research is that millennials like to feel like the work they are doing is valued by society and working for ethical companies that consider society over personal agenda*.
“For millennials, it’s about feeling like they can make a difference,” says Hall, “or perhaps they just get bored easily and want to keep trying new things. Imagine getting to try all the jobs you wanted in life, maybe changing jobs every two years isn’t such a bad idea after all.”
This ex-professional wrestler/veterinarian/marine biologist/F1 driver can’t help but agree.