Five BIG Things Millennials Want From Their Job
Last month, I stumbled upon a blog on the website MillennialBoss.com called "5 Things Millennials Want at Work." Of course, being a proud millennial myself, I was intrigued. I know what I want from my work environment, but what does my demographic as a whole look for? It's no secret that we're radically changing the workforce (for better or worse, it really depends on who you ask), and I had to know these five things millennials want from their job.
When I was preparing for college (heck, even when I was graduating from college and entering the workforce) I didn't really know what I wanted from my professional life. I knew I wanted to feel fulfilled and content, but that was about it. I'm embarrassed to admit that when potential employers would ask, "What do you want in your professional atmosphere?" I really had no idea. It took me three or four years out of college to really pinpoint what I wanted (and needed) from my work, and what I needed in order to accept a job. Hopefully, if you're in a similar boat, this list, courtesy of Millennial Boss, will give you an idea of what to look for as you embark on the job hunt. Of course, life is all about compromise and you won't necessarily find a first job that ticks all of these boxes, but you don't want to settle for a job that doesn't tick any, either.
1. "Millennials Want Flexible Work Arrangements."
The days of the traditional Monday through Friday 9-to-5 are ending with our generation. No, it's not always plausible or beneficial to have everyone working from home whenever they see fit, but a little bit of flexibility can go a long way with a millennial workforce.
"Millennials desire for flexible work arrangements doesn’t mean that they won’t put in the extra hours when needed. Millennials are willing to work above and beyond normal hours when necessary but they find it extremely futile to do it regularly." -Millennial Boss
Millennials are well-aware that long hours does not equal higher productivity or better results. At one of my first jobs, I could breeze through all my work by 2:00 or 3:00 and would spend up to two hours playing online jigsaw puzzles. (Don't tell my boss.) I would've been a much more fulfilled, happy employee if my workplace understood that as long as my work was finished – and stellar – then working from home or leaving a bit early should be an option. Being chained to a desk, work complete and watching the clock tick, doesn't benefit the employee or employer.
2. "Millennials Want More Time With Their Manager."
I can't count the number of times when a friend or peer lamented, "I feel anonymous at my company." I can tell you this much: when a millennial feels like no one is invested in their own personal success, they will have zero loyalty to a company.
So, what should you look for as you job hunt? Look for a company that prioritizes face-time with managers. Ask about the communication between employees and management, and look for a company that prioritizes transparency between all levels.
3. "Millennials Want to Know Why"
There are some things that entry-level employees simply can't know about a business, but it shouldn't be everything. Millennials won't feel passionate or motivated completing a checklist of mundane tasks – they'll want to know why those tasks are on their list in the first place.
Of course, this is often something that you won't really appreciate until once you've started a new position, but it's certainly an expectation you can voice in your interview. For example, you can explain that open communication is a priority, and you're motivated by understanding the big picture. For example, you may not feel fired up about completing Task X. However, if you know that by you completing Task X, someone else in your company is able to complete Tasks Y and Z and achieve some finished product, you'll probably be more inspired to work hard. Understanding the bigger picture matters to millennials.
4. "Millennials Want Fast Career Progression."
Of course, it's not always realistic to climb up the ladder in the blink of an eye, and dues must be paid. However, millennials will be more inspired to pay those dues if they're receiving real-time feedback from co-workers and management.
"The key to meeting millennial career expectations is by providing real-time, specific feedback. Let the millennial employee know exactly what they did well or didn’t do well immediately after it happens. A manager can provide continuous feedback to an employee while still creating a positive and supportive culture. This helps the millennial know what they specifically need to do to get to the next level." -Millennial Boss
It's no fun being left in the dark about where you stand at your job, and it's even worse to not know what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. As you look at job options, prioritize companies that offers both room for growth and consistent feedback/performance reviews.
5. "Millennials Want a Social Work Environment."
Who even wants to work from home when going to work is so freaking fun? As you explore potential job options, look for a company that emphasizes a happy and social work environment. Ask interviewers about office-wide activities and functions, and other ways they encourage employees to bond and socialize. Side note: Consider it a red flag if they only mention post-work happy hours.
At the end of the day, different people want different things from their jobs and professional environments. While you may or may not agree with every item on Millennial Boss's list, it's a great starting point as you job hunt – and it should provide plenty of inspiration for that inevitable interview question, "Is there anything you want to know about our company?"